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Office Drama: How to DEAL with it!

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Brought to you by
“Do-Over Dave”
alias Dave Sauter
sauterdm@MiamiOH.edu 513.529.8781
University Registrar, Miami University
Great Lakes ACRAO
November 2013
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“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 the work at hand.
Does the staffer next to you arrive ready to
pounce on the first piece of gossip, or start
laying blame on others? What can YOU do
about the ongoing whiner that derails office
productivity? “
Welcome to this interactive session –
recognize the realities of the workplace, learn
from each other. Relax, and…
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Welcome to the
FIRST DAY
of a future of drama…
ENJOY the Production!
What brought YOU here?
3
пЃЅ
Miami Middletown Aug 1984-Aug 91:
в—¦ 5 staff in admission, records and registration, and
financial aid
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Xavier University Aug 1991-Jan 1999:
в—¦ 11 staff in records and registration
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Wright State University Jan 1999-Jan 2006:
◦ 18 staff in records and registration…and 5 in VA
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Miami University Jan 2006-retirement пЃЉ
в—¦ From 29 staff to 19 staff with added tasks
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Act
пЃЅ Act
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One: Definitions
Two: Parental Drama
Three: Causes of Office Drama
Four: Drama Attributes
Five: 6 People you Might Hire
Six: Success Without Drama
Seven: Rumor Control
Eight: Whining at Work
Nine: Your Turn!
5
Laws, i.e., FMLA, FERPA, HIPAA,
пЃЅ Coping with emergencies
пЃЅ Union environments/non-union also
пЃЅ Sick/Vacation Accrual Flex time
пЃЅ 85% Staffed on an average day - do
the math…52 weeks minus
vacation/sick/holiday…then meetings,
conferences – Balance?
 Salaried vs. Hourly…or ONE TEAM?
пЃЅ Other?
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пЃЅ
Drama: designed for theatrical
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Relationship: quality of two or more
performance
things together
пЃЅ Conflict: emotional tension
пЃЅ Paradigm: pattern
пЃЅ Diversity: to increase the variety
пЃЅ Understanding: to grasp, to accept as
fact
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WORTHY of a SPECIAL MENTION!
“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? Generation of
caring? Who pays the bills for 18-22’s?
Do family members of students bring drama
to our workplace?
пЃЅ Your stories!
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пЃЅ Physical
Proximity
пЃЅ Reporting lines
пЃЅ Age
пЃЅ Gender
пЃЅ Personality differences
пЃЅ Differences in values
пЃЅ Jealousy
 …and more
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пЃЅ The
Unknown
пЃЅ Change
пЃЅ Insecurity
пЃЅ Home Issues
пЃЅ All of the above?
пЃЅ Other?
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0
Evil Eileen… Jerry Jokester… Chris
Cross… Brenda Brown-noser…
Letch Leonard… Silo Sam…
Obsessive Omar… Militant
Margaret… (Over) Enthusiastic Eli…
Complaining Carolyn… Sensitive
Sally… Tense Ted… Negative
Nancy… Mouthy Mark…more:
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Waffling Willie… Pushover Paul… Lazy
Larry… Rumor Rita… Gossiping Gloria…
Perfect (?) Priscilla… Know-it-all-Ned…
Messy Mary… Curt Cathy… Quiet
Quinn… Alice Angst… Always Right
Allie… Debbie Downer… Naughty
Nancy… (too) Jolly Joe… Water cooler
Wendy… Loud Lily… Lucy Late… Snarky
Suzie… Cynical Cindy… Chatty Cathy…
Needy Norm…more:
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Greta Grouch… Shelly web Surfer…
Sarge Marge
пЃЅ With
all these negative attributes,
what are we to do????????
пЃЅ Be
PART of the solution, to keep
staff from being APART
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3
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!
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Ambition
в—¦ Strive for respect first
в—¦ Mental and physical fitness
Intuition/Common Sense
в—¦ Edit your ideas before sharing (blurting?)
в—¦ Think big but grow slowly, carefully
Focus
в—¦ Be a detective, drill into issues
в—¦ Let one solution lead to another one
в—¦ Your ideas?
1
5
в—¦ 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 – at times “more
to the story”
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◦ Do not badmouth…person might
be your boss someday !!
◦ Take responsibility…if you hurt
someone, be honest and
apologize
в—¦ Do NOT be a victim, do NOT get
swept into the production
в—¦Your thoughts?
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Whining is a coping mechanism,
“complain like a child”.
Workplace changes make us whine. (Your
thoughts?)
Hierarchies are flattening, so do new
workers have less fear of managers, or
with “right-sizing” loss of job?.
Honest praise up, whining cranks down.
Whining releases tension in today’s
demanding environment.
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пЃЅ Whine
and Wine…try it! (have a
DD)
пЃЅ What is in it for ME!!!
пЃЅ So little salary raise, reduced
benefits, more expected?
пЃЅ How do YOU handle it?
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пЃЅ Your
examples of Office
Drama “in the next office!”
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0
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
пЃЅ
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