D is for Drama Queen ~> that guy in the office who's always stirring the pot
Here's another character everyone will recognize – the Drama Queen. Male or female, the Drama Queen stirs the pot of conflict to add emotional intensity and intrigue to an otherwise ordinary business day.
Of the primary responses to conflict – denying, avoiding, yielding, problem solving and contending – Drama Queens almost always choose contention. As we noted in B is for Bully, contentious responses to conflict include ingratiation or gamesmanship, shaming, threats, promises or arguments and coercive commitments or violence. All of these tactics are employed to overpower the will of another and get what we want.
Drama Queen John is a colleague recently assigned to work on the same project as you. John is impulsive, chaotic, inefficient and unproductive. You are calm, well-organized, efficient and productive. You’ve never understood why John has lasted as long as he has at his job. As a good team player, you've been keeping your own counsel. You've mentioned neither your opinions about John nor your irritation with him to your co-workers. In all your dealings with John you've been careful not to show annoyance. You've been getting along and going along while at the same time trying to keep your eye on the prize – the successful completion of the project entrusted to you.
But for all your caution, things start to go wrong on the first day the team meets. That afternoon your supervisor, Jamie, drops by your office to mention that your teammate, Gina, complained about your domineering style. The following week, you overhear George saying you didn't deserve the bonus you received last year. Someone else (John, you assume) suggested that you have a "special" relationship with the divisional vice president.
By week three your team meetings have become tense. People with whom you had worked well for a long time began eyeing you suspiciously when you enter the room.
And John is uncharacteristically cheerful.
What’s happening here?
Yes, you'll have to await the publication of A is for Asshole: the Grownups' ABCs of Conflict Resolution for the means at your disposal to put this cluster-F*** in the office back into shape again.