DRAMA AND EMOTIONAL WASTE IN ORGANIZATIONS
- Research found that the average employee spends 2 hours 26 minutes per day in drama and emotional waste.
- The average senior leader spends a minimum of 5 hours a week dealing with the drama that creates emotional waste. (A conservative estimate, based on the research.)
- Survey from 800 leaders in over 100 organizations in the medical, technology, manufacturing, financial industries.
- What is the impact on profitability?
- If you recapture the two-plus hours / employee / day spent on emotional waste
- That is more than 25% of your total payroll!
These stats are from a book called “No Ego: How Leaders Can Cut the Cost of Workplace Drama, End Entitlement, and Drive Big Results” by Cy Wakeman.
THE DEFINITION OF DRAMA AND EMOTIONAL WASTE
- “Emotional Waste” = Mentally wasteful thought processes or unproductive behavior.
- Keeps leaders (or their teams) from delivering the highest level of results.
We all have mental filters that distort or obscure reality and transform it into a self-serving, ego-approved story. Our stories are invented to make us look good or excuse our lack of action. These stories make us feel safe, let us off the hook, and give us someone to blame when we don’t get what we want. Perceived unhappiness, lack of success, or reluctance to be fully engaged at work have to do with deep-seated, often subconscious desires to bend reality.
THE EGO IS NOT YOUR AMIGO
The ego is the part of our psyche that mediates self-identity and experience, and ego is instrumental in governing how we adapt to reality. It is also important to recognize that one of the ego’s main functions is generating emotional waste. It is an unreliable narrator of experience because its judging nature separates us from others. It delights in the drama it can create. It blames other people or situations (many times EVENTS) for all my problems.
Ego is the enemy of profitability and the enemy of quality of life in the workplace. The Buddha called the ego the source of all suffering.
HOW WILL YOU RESPOND to Drama and Emotional Waste in yourself and others?
E + R = O (EVENT + RESPONSE = OUTCOME)
Ego will coax you to be ONE UP or persuade you to be ONE DOWN.
- ONE UP = you’re convinced you’re right, you’re better than others, and people should always listen to you.
- ONE DOWN = you’re misunderstood, helpless, a victim of circumstances. Another reason the ego is not your amigo.
If you want to be an effective performer and/or and effective leader, managing the ego—both your own and that of others – gives you a great performance advantage. Managing the ego involves a mindset shift of your ego.
BE A SCIENTIST, NOT A JUDGE
When you observe others, communicate with others, and listen to your own self talk. In our work with many executives:
- They first focus on noticing judgment.
- Then, noticing the responses of others when they feel judged.
- Most then notice the effect of their “JUDGE” on themselves (limiting performance) and on others.
WORDS IN ACTION
1. Identify an event where you can notice people’s language (i.e., a meeting you are not facilitating).
2. Identify (and note, if possible, for later reflection) times you hear a sequence of:
b. STORY (Why something happened. Often an EVENT.)
c. JUDGMENT (“Absolute” language, i.e., always, never, opinion stated as fact.)
3. Reflect and journal after the event about what you noticed. (Even noting if you hear ONE UP or ONE DOWN statements.)
Onward and Upward,