We all have moments in the office that are full of drama. The boss told your colleague this and she did that and so on and so forth. This happens in the nonprofit sector just as much as in for profit companies. Just because we’re here for a reason bigger than ourselves doesn’t mean everything’s fine and dandy all the time – in fact, it’s often even more tense, because we’re all so passionate about our work.
Drama can be especially hurtful when the one getting the brunt of it is someone you’re friends with. It’s only natural to want to take sides… but I’m here to advise you not to. It’s so important to stay neutral. For your own personal sanity and for everyone’s benefit.
Here are a few tips to keep your cool in the midst of drama.
- Be sympathetic. Notice I didn’t say be empathetic. Of course, it’s your friend, so listen, nod, and keep listening. Be a shoulder to cry on. Write a card of encouragement. But don’t cross that line to try to be in her shoes. You aren’t the one involved, and you shouldn’t try to be. Trust me, it won’t help anyone.
- See all sides. Yes, because the person you’re friends with is going to vent to you, you’re most likely going to hear about one side much more than the other. And the way she slants everything probably means you’re going to justify her actions. But whatever your friend says, remember there’s always another side to the coin. You don’t know the other person’s point of view. So remember not to jump to any conclusions.
- Separate yourself from the drama. No matter what happens between your colleagues, you still have a job to do. And maybe you’re going for a promotion or in it for the long haul. Don’t let the drama impact your view on your job. Be aware that it’s happening, but don’t let it change your mind about anything. You’re your own person with your own job to do.
You are in control of yourself. Your perception and attitude shape your future. Don’t let the drama get you down! Be supportive but neutral, and you’ll stay drama free.