The Drama Triangle And Its Impact On Your Business

Duo Global Consulting

How much do you experience a drama triangle in your business?

When we talk to leaders about the key challenges in their business culture, there is one commonality that comes up time and time again – workplace drama.

Unfortunately increased levels of drama in your business is more than just a leadership headache – it directly impacts your bottom line. The more your team gossip, or engage in drama, the less they are focussed on your customers and their performance. Drama takes time and that’s time you’re paying for which isn’t being spent doing anything to positively impact your bottom line.

In some businesses drama is obvious, in others it is less obvious, but most certainly still there. In less obvious situations, leaders simply swoop in and save the day consistently – although masked as a positive – this is still creating drama by not enabling others in your team to help themselves.

A great way to gauge how much drama you have in your business is to look at how often triangulation occurs. Triangulation is when two people don’t speak directly to each other but use and rely on others to share concerns or solve problems – this often produces gossip, rumours, inefficiency and destructive behaviours.

Karpman’s Drama Triangle

In our leadership training we explore Stephen Karpman’s Drama Triangle which perfectly describes situations in which triangulation appears. There are three destructive roles in the Drama triangle:

● The Hero – the hero plays the rescuer role and swoops in to save the day. This is the less obvious of the three roles, and is often played by leaders without even realising they are doing it. This role is destructive as it often creates temporary relief without facing the core issue, which causes issues to resurface and remain unsolved at the core. The hero ultimately doesn’t want others or themselves to feel bad and they often seek their value by being needed by others.

● The Villain – the villain’s job is to blame, either themselves or others. This often drives a lack of ownership and results in complaining & defensiveness which often keeps people playing this role stuck as they don’t ever address the challenge at it’s core. When others are selecting a villain during drama, it can be a person, the business, or a situation.

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