Who Causes the Worst Office Politics: Drama Queen, Avoider or Splitter?
Last night I heard a dog bark. Way in the distance this dog yelped and yelped. It was as if she (or he) wanted me to tell you this tale of craziness so you can know the signs of trouble at work.
First, I’ll give you the answer to the question in the title. Is the drama queen the worst offender of office politics? NO! The drama person (and of course there are drama kings out there, just ask Charlie Sheen) is easily seen, Oscar award obvious, and is usually like a thunder storm whose loud behavior is here and gone pretty fast.
How about the avoider? Annoying? Yes, but not the worst. These are the folks who leave the scene when there is tension as fast as they can out of real or imagined fear. They can be reeled in and helped to stay with the program once their initial anxieties are addressed.
The winner is The Splitter, aka the pot stirrer, diagnosis: passive-aggressive.
Now for the story. One of my employees was moving and could not find a place to board her dog. The staff on her floor all agreed to let “Mr. Ray” be in the office for a few months. He was a beautiful dog and caused no problems. One woman complained and complained the dog would sit at her cubicle all day and why couldn’t he just be near his owner. She would heave gulping sighs and “put up” with this annoying dog because, well, of course, he favored her above the rest of the staff.
Somewhere into the third week of this martyr’s complaining the truth outed. She kept dog biscuits in her drawer and would feed “Mr. Ray" frequently. Of course the dog would find her cubicle the best in the place.
When she was faced with this dichotomy of feeding and complaining she said “I feel sorry for the dog”. Huh??? It made no sense.
The one that can rarely be transformed to its positive opposite is the splitter. So, if you live with someone who “talks out of both sides of the mouth”. Be wary and take notes!