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Leadership in Action: A closer look at heroic intentions


From our friend and inspiring leader, Ava Cabey, Talent, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Harland Clarke.

The Issue:

Drama in the workplace was not new to me.  But I had found smart ways to avoid, mitigate, defuse and deflect negative vibes and disruption in my work world.  With an “S” on my chest, I was able to leap tall barriers in a single bound, rope and wrangle gossip with a whisper, and was aptly armored with amazing tips, tricks and peace-keeping hacks to save the day and those around me.  But was I really Drama-free?  Hardly!  Actually, I’d been unsuspectingly securing my personal peace with band-aide tactics, quick to appease in the moment but gave root to greater untapped tensions, creating victims in my heroic wake and antagonistic villainy.


The Shift Move:

I attended Crafted Leadership’s live training on How Inspiring Leaders Reduce Drama in the Workplace.  This session focused on how to shift from Reactivity to Creativity and to presence - a state of conscious awareness. 

As a theatre major, I clearly identified with each mindset of HERO, VICTIM, and VILLIAN.  Each is dependent on the other to keep the “Drama Triangle” theatre in thrilling motion.  The group of attending leaders at our session worked through real-life work scenarios – applying collaborative discussion and role-playing techniques to recognize drama and resolve to create calm, open and authentic presence in each situation.


The Impact:  

Attempting to reach a state of presence, I asked myself, “ How am I creating drama?”  I was embarrassed by my realizations!  Although my heroic intentions were pure, I realized the role I was playing in my work place was often fueled in drama.  I was suddenly aware of how my behaviors had inadvertently prevented growth, creativity and stifled the empowerment of others.  I was heroine, cloaked in ego, fighting for equality or righteous cause with a shield vain villainy and virtuous victimization.  Yes… I have a dramatic flair, but I could clearly see how my work place would improve if I could start with change.

I packed the Drama Triangle training cards I received and shared this very simple concept of Drama with my family and co-workers.   My youngest brother called me “I’m just going to start by saying – I’m a VICTIM…” I burst out laughing seeing how the impact of this training had that quickly taken effect.  “I am a VILLIAN and I need to work  through this internal drama… Tell me about Presence again...” my colleague urged in seeking a drama-free work outcome.  The impact on morale, growth and productivity was instantly evident when we employed curiosity, spoke from my body, heart and head to gain focus on the business tasks at hand.  I am continually amazed at how impactful and applicable the training is from Crafted Leadership.  Each training is independent but also builds upon an overall package of skills I can practice as a leader.  The knowledge I have obtained has been useful in my personal life, professional life and is magnified through the positive response I have received when putting the techniques into practice.  


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