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Monica Wofford, CSP, teaches leaders to understand and improve their own leadership in using practice, skills, and desire as their three areas of focus. Oh my lanta! I had no idea “Office Drama Queen” would pull so many results on Google. It’s an issue of magnificent proportion and if you deal with it in your office, you know.

Sites from Scientific American to Career Builder to AOL Jobs to even eHow lists ways to deal with the office drama queen, but one thing that seemed not to be emphasized, is the leaders’ role in feeding this behavior. We train employees and colleagues how to treat us and if you’re one of the twelve million faced with an office drama queen, or what some call “diva”, here’s the one key piece of advice that might make the most difference.


Leaders reward this kind of behavior by being afraid to address the issue, avoiding assigning some projects for fear of the outburst, ignoring the behavior thinking it will go away, or by consistently spending time in meetings or team gatherings giving this type of person the spotlight.

Instead, experts site these remedies as more effective and in line with a more viable solution:

  • Set boundaries on what is acceptable on the job behavior and what’s not
  • Avoid reacting and providing more ammunition when an outburst occurs
  • Remind the employee of the above stated boundaries and swiftly deliver the consequences you’ve set for deviations
  • Pay more attention to those doing the job well and less to those who choose not to abide by the guidelines for professional conduct or interaction

These may seem like down and dirty or very black and white responses to an emotional, seemingly complicated issue or type of behavior, but as a leader, it is your decision to work with someone who continues to create drama or spread drama to the entire team. You can decide to tolerate it and lose your right to complain about it, or address the situation directly and swiftly and watch the behavior dissipate or the person self-deselect rather quickly.

Dealing with difficult employees is not a leadership requirement but rather a choice. HOW you deal with them is a choice.

Need more?

Difficulty comes in all shapes and sizes, tones, and tempers and this may be one of those times when you realize that you don’t have the skills you need to assert yourself or to address the situation in way that makes you comfortable. We can help with those skills at our April Conference. Interested in learning more? Click here

Have a great Monday, an even better week and of course, stay contagious!


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