David Emerald (Womeldorff) wrote the book Power of TED to help individuals and teams move away from the “dreaded drama triangle” and towards empowerment. In his short fable on self-leadership, Emerald offers readers a pathway to shifting away from the drama triangle. It is a fast, easy read with big ah-ha moments.
Think about a recent drama in your workplace or home. For example, think about the “kitchen” at work or home, a frequent drama location. There are certain people who tend to clean up and others that pile up. Let’s say you are the clean up type. One day you arrive in the kitchen and there are dishes piled up, no coffee left, and the counter is dripping with a sticky combination of sugar, yogurt and spaghetti sauce.
You start cleaning up while grumbling to yourself, “Why am I always the one who has to clean this up?” The cycle has just begun and you are the victim. Ten minutes into cleaning up a colleague comes in and puts a dirty cup by the sink and says “Wow, I really need a cup of coffee”. One of your just washed cups is filled and a trail of cream, sugar and coffee drips are left behind. All of the sudden you become the Persecutor….”Great, have a cup of coffee, I’ve just spent the last 10 minutes cleaning up your mess and because of you I’m late for a meeting. Couldn’t you just once clean up after yourself?” Zoom… you shifted from victim to persecutor. The next employee walks into this escalating drama and says….”Hey, let me help out here, I’ll do the dishes, no worries, I’ve got you both covered. Go on to your meetings, I’ll clean up”. A rescuer is born and then sends out an email to everyone…” I spent 30 minutes cleaning the kitchen this morning. If you have left anything in the refrigerator claim it today because at 5pm, I’m dumping everything as our kitchen has turned into a mold experiment.” The rescuer became the victim and the cycle continues.
This type of drama cycle happens in our homes and workplaces. What story line comes to mind for you? [Read more…]