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Office Drama : How to DEAL with it!. Brought to you today by “ Do-Over Dave ” as Drama King …alias Dave Sauter University Registrar, Miami University OTC, May 30, 2008. Introduction.

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office drama how to deal with it

Office Drama: How to DEAL with it!

Brought to you today by

“Do-OverDave” as Drama King

…alias Dave Sauter

University Registrar, Miami University

OTC, May 30, 2008

  • The drama of a full-blown workplace conflict can rival the best made-for-television movie. All eyes are glued to the episode of the day, instead of on the work at hand. Does the office worker next to you arrive ready to pounce on the first piece of gossip and start laying blame on others? What can YOU do about the ongoing whiner that derails office productivity? Relax, and…

Welcome to the


of a future of drama…

ENJOY the Production!

drama king dave
Drama King Dave
  • Miami Middletown 1984-91:
    • 5 staff in admission, records and registration, and financial aid
  • Xavier University 1991-1999:
    • 11 staff in records and registration
  • Wright State University 1999-2006:
    • 18 staff in records and registration
  • Miami University 2006-retirement 
    • 28 staff in records and registration
today s production
Today’s Production
  • Act One: Definitions
  • Act Two: Parental Drama
  • Act Three: Causes of Office Drama
  • Act Four: Drama Attributes
  • Act Five: 6 People to NOT Hire
  • Act Six: Success Without Drama
  • Act Seven: Rumor Control
  • Act Eight: Whining at Work
  • Act Nine: Your Turn!
staff workday realities
Staff Workday Realities
  • Laws, i.e., FMLA, FERPA, professional
  • Coping with emergencies
  • Union environments
  • Human Resource Issues
  • Sick/Vacation Accrual (abuse?)
  • Flex time
  • 85% Staffed
  • Salaried vs. Hourly
  • Other?
act one definitions
Act One: Definitions
  • Drama: designed for theatrical performance
  • Relationship: quality of two or more things together
  • Conflict: emotional tension
  • Paradigm: pattern
  • Diversity: to increase the variety
  • University: facility to teach and research offering degrees
  • Understanding: to grasp, to accept as fact
act two drama from parents
Act Two: Drama from Parents


  • “In your words” Letter to the Editor, Miami University, Miamian, an alternate look at “Helicopter Parents” who might add drama to our workplace…but is it well-founded drama, or ill-founded drama?
  • “Helicopter Parents Swoop in…” handout
  • Do family members of students bring drama to our workplace?
act three causes of office drama
Act Three: Causes of Office Drama
  • Physical Proximity
  • Reporting lines
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Personality differences
  • Differences in values
  • Jealousy
more causes of office drama
MORE Causes of Office Drama
  • The unknown
  • Change
  • Insecurity
  • Home Issues
  • Other causes
    • ??
    • ??
    • ??
act four drama attributes
Act Four: Drama Attributes
  • Charlie ‘o Change…and more change
  • Winnie the whiner
  • Ira the irresponsible
  • Barbie badmouth
  • Christopher cross
  • Evan the eye roller
  • Carla Coffee clotch
more attributes
…more attributes!
  • Greta the grouch
  • Ginger the gossiper
  • Nancy nosey
  • Shelly web surfer
  • Omar the obsessive
  • Mark the online card shark
  • Marge the sarge
and more attributes
…and MORE attributes
  • Harry the hotdog
  • Eddie eager
  • Sam the silo
  • Suzie sniper
  • Leonard the letch
  • Cory complainer
  • Leering Larry
  • Daggering Doug
even more attributes
Even More Attributes?
  • Passive Paula
  • Over-zealous Oscar
  • Manipulative Miranda
  • Others that YOU KNOW?
act five 6 people you should never hire
Act Five:6 People you should NEVER hire
  • The Loafer…fast out of the gate and then sputters to a stop!
  • The Weasel…back-stabber!
  • The Bridegroom…wants to be you but will not help make decisions!
  • The Psycho Killer…too many adversaries!
  • The Workaholic…no other life!
  • The Future CEO…too much “I” focus!
act six what defines success without drama handout
Act Six: “What Defines Success?”…without drama! (handout)
  • Ambition
    • Strive for respect first
    • Mental and physical fitness
  • Intuition
    • Edit your ideas
    • Think big but grow slowly
  • Focus
    • Be a detective
    • Let one solution lead to another one
act seven responding to rumors
Act Seven: “Responding to Rumors”
  • Avoid conversing about personal details…all you say will be repeated at least once
  • Ignore the speculation…don’t let it fester
  • Ignore gossipers…don’t give them attention
more responses to rumors
More Responses to Rumors
  • Do not badmouth…person might be your boss someday
  • Take responsibility…if you hurt someone, be honest and apologize
  • Do NOT be a victim, do NOT get swept into the production
act eight whining at work handout
Act Eight: “Whining at Work” handout
  • Whining is a coping mechanism.
  • Workplace changes make us more likely to whine.
  • Hierarchies are flattening, so new workers have less fear of managers.
  • If praise cranks up, whining cranks down.
  • Whining releases tension in today’s demanding environment.
whining at work continued
Whining at Work, continued
  • Whine and Wine…try it!
  • What is in it for ME!!!
  • So little salary raise, so much expected!
  • How do YOU handle it?
act nine your turn but no whining
Act Nine:Your turn…but NO WHINING!
  • Your examples of Office Drama “in the next office!”
in conclusion drama vs draaama
In Conclusion…Drama  vs. DRAAAMA!!
  • A “Human Condition” we all need to acknowledge and master, to not let it control us or our office
  • Good and Bad Drama…life with NO drama may be boring; SOME drAma adds some spice, TOO MUCH DRAAAMA is destructive
  • Drama vs. Dramatic…be dramatic w/o so much drama! Balance, balance, balance