Are you being sucked into workplace drama? Are you being pulled into a problem focused management style? Drama can drain the energy right out of you. Infact,
- Managers can spend up to 40% of their time focusing on workplace drama.
- U.S. employees spend 2.1 hours per week involved with conflict, which amounts to approximately $359 billion in paid hours (based on an average hourly earnings of $17.95), or the equivalent of 385 million working days.
David Emerald of the TED Dynamic suggests that by shifting to an outcome focus we will arrive at growth oriented solutions and avoid what he calls the “deadly drama triangle.”
The TED Dynamic encourages managers to take on the Creator role and empower employees to be more resourceful, resilient and innovative. In this approach, a manager encourage teams to take “baby steps” towards the desired outcomes rather then being sucked into the problem focused- drama laden approach.
One way to understand the difference between problem vs outcome focus approach is to take a walk through Chincoteague Island’s southern pine forest. Foresters are masters of problem vs outcome focus approaches. This analogy may help you to see the difference.
Chincoteague’s once beautiful pine forest has been struck by an infestation of the southern pine beetle(SPB). (Teams are often struck by drama cycles).
In the problem focused approach, land owners who don’t take preventive measures find pine beetles infestation spreading at the rate of 50 feet per day. (Have you ever watched conflict spread rapidly through your team and spent hours and dollars dealing with it? This is a problem focused approach.)
In a problem focused approach southern pines become infested and the best approach is to clear and cut trees. Clearing forests has devastating effects on the landscape. (Do you know of managers that manage conflict in their team by playing the reactive role? Blaming others? This problem-focused approach rarely helps and often results in low morale across the workplace. It can be devastating.)
In an outcome focused approach, foresters take on a creator role. Foresters know that southern pine beetle (SPB) is one of the most dangerous threats to our southern forests. They work together to take preventive steps and provide arborists and land owners with strategies and tools to prevent an infestation.(Managers in the workplace know that they can spend hours a week snarled in drama. Managers that work together on a strengths-based, outcome focus approach can slowly shift their teams from a reactive to a proactive approach. This frees up time for enhancing performance and energy)
In an outcome focus, forest managers know that there will be set backs and they will lose trees, but they hold on to the vision of preserving as many of our southern pine forests as possible. They know this work begins with small proactive steps forward. (Supervisors and managers know at times there will be drama. Yet, they empower their teams to take small steps towards a clear vision. This slowly shifts the culture of a problem focused approach to an outcome orientation.)