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Save the Drama for Yo Mama!

Updated on April 10, 2017
Stephen Meadows profile image

Stephen is an accomplished networking guru and published author on the subject. If there is one thing he does well, it's network!

Let’s face it. Drama is everywhere! The proliferation of reality TV has proven that conclusively. We thrive on the misfortunes of others and rush to tell our friends, family, and anyone who will listen what just heard. I’m not here to preach about gossiping. I love a juicy story as much as the next fellow. However, we have to be VERY careful about stepping in something that stinks. Chances are, the stench will follow you around.


The “Grain of Salt” Rule

We can only truly believe a small portion of what we hear on a daily basis. That’s one of the main reasons I don’t watch the news anymore. Learning to sift through the garbage to find the worthwhile nuggets is a skill to be mastered. When a colleague tells you some spicy news, there is nothing wrong with listening. Just know that probably only a portion of it is accurate. It’s like the old game of “telephone.” Details get lost in translation. I always say, “There are 3 sides to every story, yours, mine, and the truth.” Don’t take gossip at face value. Unless, it’s about a competitor; in which case, embellish it and spread it like fertilizer! I’M KIDDING!!

Neutrality is Key!

In the world of sales, we often bridge multiple realms. In my case, I deal with independent contractors that are all competing against one another for the same business. I need to work with as many as possible, while maintaining a delicate balance as to not show favoritism toward one company or group. I’m not going to lie; it can be a hard line to walk sometimes. There are many times that I have heard how someone doesn’t like so and so. I’ve been asked, “why do you work with them?” The short answer, to quote The Godfather, is “It’s not personal, it’s business.” We tend to form friendships and show natural altruism toward those with whom we share the most in common. Don’t let those friendships cloud your judgment and allow you to be sucked into needless drama. You never know whose toes you might be stepping on.

Drama in the Workplace

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Conclusion

I am not saying “be a stick in the mud.” No one wants to do business with someone who they feel is judgmental and condescending. My advice is to keep your cards close to you vest. In other words, don’t let your business contacts know your unvarnished opinion. It’s not being phony; it’s being diplomatic. I get so tired of people preaching about “being genuine.” We all wear masks, in our personal lives and in business. Believe me; it is necessary and natural to put your best face forward. Be yourself all you want at home. Talk smack about whomever you wish. In business, we must remain professional and courteous. Leave the drama at the door and get the job done!

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