How to Take The Drama Out Of Your Communications?

My aim in this article is to help you:

  • Recognise when you are in the drama triangle
  • Reassure you that you are not alone
  • Resource you to get out of it.

 

What is a Drama? 

Drama is when you spend more time talking about someone rather than talking to them. Drama is when your insides feel permanently in a knot or your head is clouded and unable to communicate what you truly want. Drama is whenever you do speak it is misunderstood, misinterpreted and it causes conflict. Of Course their are many other examples but hopefully you get the idea.

 The Drama Triangle

The drama triangle is a psychological and social model of human interaction in transactional analysis (TA) first described by Stephen Karpman, in his 1968 article “Fairy Tales and Script Drama Analysis”.  Below is an explanation from Caitlin Walker and Sarah Nixon’s   one year self coaching diaries and if you want to find out more I highly recommend the book From Contempt to Curiosity

The Ego States

 

Persecutor

You may blame or PERSECUTE someone else, from this position you are likely to believe it is the other person that has to change. You are likely to look for evidence to prove your point. You are likely to ignore any evidence that contradicts your point. You may be shouting and clearly angry. You may be calm or even smiling. You will be pointing out that someone else is in the wrong. You will be unlikely to be taking any personal responsibility for change.

This is when you believe and we do truly believe in the moment our happiness or success or the lack of it is someone else’s fault. You will hear things like:

 

  • If they just did ……….everything would be okay
  • If they were motivated we would all be happy then…
  • If they were not so idle, rude disrespectful then…

 

 

Victim

A different ‘Drama’ role is that of VICTIM, from this position you are likely to believe you are powerless. You are likely to look for evidence to prove your point and again, you are likely to ignore any evidence that contradicts your point. You may be shouting and clearly angry. You may be calm or even smiling. You will be pointing out that someone else is in the wrong. You will be unlikely to be taking any personal responsibility for change.

You might hear:

 

  • Is it just me that can think for myself
  • It seems like it is only me they can’t get on with
  • I have worked so hard and given so much how come they don’t appreciate it

 

 

Rescuer

Another and often deceptive ‘Drama’ role is that of RESCUER, from this position you are likely to believe you are helping everyone else. You are  likely to look for evidence that you have to keep doing what you are doing.

You are  likely to ignore any evidence that you are maintaining a problem. You are likely to train other people to behave like victims or to dis-empower them. You are likely to pacify persecutors and build up latent anger towards them. You are likely to burn out as what you do is unsustainable.

You might hear:

 

  • If they are not going to do it well enough I will have to do it myself
  • I have to do that or they will feel left out
  • Can I suggest you do…

 

 

Do you recognise yourself yet? Do you recognise someone you know? 

I promise you,  you are not alone and if you can spot someone else in the drama triangle then it is very  likely that you are there with them too. Perhaps as persecutor because you think they have to change not you??(Just a thought)

Many businesses are stuck in drama right now. Many personal relationships fall apart because they end up in drama and of course  everyone is someone else’s difficult person. 

First Step, is to recognise when you are communicating with others from one of those ego states. You can share this with a trusted friend and ask them to notice if they think you are communicating from drama. You can also observe your own language and be mindful of your intention.

Activity

You can practice here by reading these statements and determining where in the drama triangle you think the person is:

 

  • If you they were a good employee they would make time for follow up
  • They just want to be paid for nothing
  • They want their cake and eat it

 

or

 

  • They don’t appreciate me
  • They don’t have the same pressures as I do
  • I have to come up with all the solutions and ideas, no one else ever contributes

 

or

 

  • I have to do it because they won’t get round to it
  • I have to do it because they will get stressed otherwise
  • I have to do it because they are not skilled enough yet

 

Can you recognise Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer now?

How to get out of drama?

 

  1. Get really clear what you would like to have happen. Ensure your language is solution focused. It is what you want not what you don’t want
  2. Have confidence in asking for what you want and need
  3. Develop compassion and understanding for the difference between what is said and what is heard and give evidence based feedback

If you want to know more about ‘how’ to get out drama check my video: “How to do, delegate or ditch with confidence?” where I share 3 communication tools that can help you take the drama out of your communications.

 

 About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening is well known for her fast speaking and highly motivational passion. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to challenging conversations, lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl use to find it difficult to speak up and have her needs met despite the fact she could and would encourage everyone else to do exactly that. A series of 3 events in her personal life forced her to stop and learn how to take her own advice.

Today Sheryl runs retreats and one to one sessions resourcing you to do more of what you love, delegate or learn how to do what you don’t and ditch the critic that says you can’t. Sharing a communication tool kit and collaboration tool kit that will transform the way you think, feel and understand those around you. Sheryl and her team will be your strength and solution detective whilst you train your inner critic and those that around you to listen in a way that motivates and inspires you.

Don’t know how call her now….+44(0)1329 286648

Free Step By Step Listening Guide

Free Motivational Newsletter

Is Facebook Destroying Your Business?

IMG_0564

Paige and Sheryl before all the drama

How is Facebook and any other social media affecting your self esteem and self confidence?

When you put a post out, advertise an event and you don’t get the response you want then what happens? 

As I review all the Feedback on Facebook and social media in general following the webinar.  I noticed I was much calmer than I have been in years despite being very hungry and very tired and emotionally drained due to juggling lots of new things at the same time such as:

  • Remembering what I wanted to say
  • Manage two screens
  • Managing time
  • Discovering that both my ipad and phone can choose to ignore the fact I have set them to silent and can choose to interact with me whilst I am presenting
  • Constantly having to refresh the screen to see the comments was also a little disconcerting
  • Managing comments that did not stay in chronological order

Despite these physical challenges it was so lovely to have a quiet inner critic. Not a peep came out of my critic for the whole day. Which was a really lovely feeling and one that I am truly appreciating today because that was not always the case.

Post webinar I also had a chat via Facebook with tween and teen coach Karen Nowicki which sparked a thought about how we feel when we put stuff out on Facebook or social media and we don’t get the response we want.

Karen was sharing with me that some teens and predominantly girls put their selfie up and when they get lots of lovely comments their self esteem is raised and when they don’t get any comments there is a risk that their self esteem plummets.

For me Facebook is a way of keeping our family up to date with latest news and it is a marketing tool. It is my forum to share with my clients and potential clients the vulnerable side of me and the most important part of who I am. I am not just the strength and solution detective, I am Sheryl, mum, wife, sister, daughter and friend.

Although I genuinely don’t really have good or bad days any more, only good and bad moments, I do remember quite clearly a time when just hearing someone else say they felt great and they were happy use to make me want to run scream and sometimes even brought me to to tears.

Sharing that side of me (my weakness and vulnerability) is part of my brand and my message that it is okay to be real, it is okay to have emotions and it is okay to say what you think. And yet I don’t agree with branding your drama all over Facebook. Facebook is a forum I am feeling more and more able to be the whole of me and not just the business side of me and yet I will still consider would I tell the cashier in Asda about this? If the answer is yes if I think it will help then I post it.

Linked In

I am noticing that I am more selective which profile pictures I use and I keep it very ‘business’ like for Linked in and although sometimes I resent that a little and every now and again I rebel and break the Linked In rules.  I do recognise this is what is expected on this forum and I love the intellectual conversations that persona attracts. When I behave like an adult I get adult engagement and that is vital to my stability and growth.

What to do with your inner child?

So where do you go when the adult in you gives up and the inner child or even raging teenager appears. 3 years ago my self image and self confidence had hit rock bottom. (I am a relationship and communication coach and at the time with a daughter who had started self harming and said I was the cause. I had kicked her out at 16 telling her if I am the cause of you self harming I suggest you get away from me. I didn’t expect her to go, I didn’t really think that she thought it was me. I was devastated at the response I got from my communication and I felt a failure)

During this time I found myself with heightened sensitivity to a lack of validation and I was seeking approval and endorsement from as many people as possible. (not pretty)

When Social Media Doesn’t Work For Business

At this time social media was not helpful to me. I needed to know I was okay and that I was good at my job despite what was happening with my daughter and I also needed to know how to help my daughter. I found myself in a spiral going down and down. Every success story of a fellow business owner or happy loving mums and daughter’s hit a nerve.  Until one day I heard myself giving a client feedback that they had this great process to help people with ‘xyz’ and yet they were not using it themselves.

The Penny Dropped

That day I realised I was not listening to my own advice either. I did not have clarity of what I wanted I was just complaining about what I didn’t have and what I had done wrong.   I was not confident in my own way of parenting or running my business and I definitely was not noticing every change in the right direction and celebrating it.

I had by now trained 80 plus people to manage their inner critic and there I was being destroyed by mine.

That day I turned envy into inspiration and I created a memory board of all the happy times Paige and I had spent together. I listed her strengths and sent her cards, text and emails that told her repeatedly what I loved about her even when she did not respond I kept communicating what I loved about her. Even when she told me she hated me, I told her I loved her. I gave her evidence of what made her great that she could not argue with and I demonstrated that I was not going anywhere and she could not push me away. No matter how much she tried.

I also learned how my brain processed information and gradually explained to her what I needed to listen to her music ( I am not audio and she is a musician) Our solution was video links with lyrics on the screen. This was not instant and yet that process taught me to do the same for my business. To know what I want, be resourced to make it happen and celebrate every change. Improvement was slow at first with Paige we went from 2 mins of harmonious conversations to more recently 10 days and that took me 18 months of resilience and persistence and it was so worth it.

Train your inner critic to be your strength and solution detective

That day my inner critic became a strength and solution detective for me and my daughter and that in turn gave me clarity and focus in the business. I knew I wanted to improve the way working parents communicate so they can be successful in business and have more patience at home.

Until this point I remember being really sensitive about whether people shared my posts, liked my photos or engaged with me. I found some of the ‘all women groups’ even tougher to engage in because I did not know how to ask for help without looking weak or ruining my professional persona.

 

It is absolutely right that you must be real and be yourself on Facebook and in real life and of course it is wise to check what is your purpose and intention when you communicate?

What kind of response do you want and why?

If you are communicating on Facebook to get feedback that is vital to you feeling good then I personally would recommend you don’t unless of course it is working.

There are always going to be as many people that get you, as there are that don’t. If you are feeling vulnerable take care and don’t set yourself up for feedback that is not going to help you grow.

If you want to learn how to invite and give evidence based feedback whether you want to develop resilience for social media marketing or you want to empower your teen or you simply want to feel great about who you are please don’t miss our up and coming event Motivate, Manage or Mentor where we will be sharing practical tools to train your critic to listen for strengths and solutions.

About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

how to improve listening skills

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to challenging conversations, lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl use to find it difficult to speak up and have her needs met despite the fact she could and would encourage everyone else to do exactly that. A series of 3 events in her personal life forced her to stop and learn how to take her own advice.

Today, Sheryl runs retreats and one to one sessions resourcing you to do more of what you love, delegate what you don’t and ditch the critic that says you can’t.

Sheryl openly shares an easy to adopt communication tool kit that will transform the way you think and train others to listen. Sheryl will be your strength and solution detective until you have fully trained your inner critic and those around you, to listen in a way that motivates and inspires you to be the best you can be.

Fancy a virtual coffee and chat, then please feel free to book a complimentary clarity and confidence session or check out the “How to do, delegate and ditch with confidence” free webinar.

Don’t know how call her now….+44(0)1329 286648

Free Step By Step Listening Guide

Free Motivational Newsletter

Follow Step By Step Listening on Social Media

Proud Member of BNI Uplands

Is Your 8 Year Old A Teen Already?

how to improve listening skills When I launched Step by Step Listening in 2008 my first communication workshops focused on mums and daughters. This is what one of our clients said: “Before attending the Step-by-Step Listening Mothers and Daughters workshop I was worried about the way my relationship with my daughter was going. My beautiful little girl is only 8 years old but our ever-increasing arguments over trivial things made me think she had become a teenager early.  I hated the way I spoke to/shouted at her.

Continue reading Is Your 8 Year Old A Teen Already?

The Next Generation Can Teach Us So Much

I wanted to share with you a thought from a good friend. Helen Battersby a highly regarded Executive and Team building coach with Good to Great Coaching, is known for her compassion and understanding of people. Helen has the ability to bring the good out in people and teams with a genuine and honest approach.

Helen earlier this year decided to start to write down her reflections and this piece resonated with me.

Continue reading The Next Generation Can Teach Us So Much

What is a Strength and Solution Detective?

What is a “Strength and Solution Detective” ?

how to improve listening skills and retrain your inner criticFor me a strength and solution detective is the voice in my head that is on my side. The detective provides evidence based feedback that I cannot discount or disprove. The detective reflects patterns and connections that demonstrate this is not a fluke, it is how I do me, actively highlighting my natural way of working and my strengths. Continue reading What is a Strength and Solution Detective?

How Long Have You Been Saying You Wish You Could Go On A Retreat?

IMG_1952

Travelling to Spain 2015 – I looked confident but inside I was so nervous

Can you think of a time when you personally were stuck in indecision or perhaps inactivity?

Maybe you heard yourself using language that focused on blaming and berating yourself for procrastinating. Now be curious about where you need to be to think clearly? What works for you to make a good decision?

One of the things that I talk about in the book “Manage Your Critic – From Overwhelm to Clarity in 7 steps” is the importance of space.

Did you know that your brain is storing information all the time? Recording and recalling all that you see, hear and feel. Where you are physically, can impact your thinking and that can be positively or negatively. Continue reading How Long Have You Been Saying You Wish You Could Go On A Retreat?