How to Recognize a Dramatic Personality
To be able to address problems with people most effectively, it helps to understand them. The following list of behaviors will help you recognize dramatic personalities in the workplace.
Drama queens and kings always add excitement to the workplace. The goal of the dramatic person is to get attention or to build up himself or herself. Unfortunately the effects of the drama can be costly.
The hero syndrome is one presentation of the dramatic personality. The behaviors of the hero follow a distinct pattern:
- Through his or her own behavior, creates a problem.
- The problem eventually becomes an emergency and requires a "hero" to fix the emergency.
- The very person who created the problem then becomes the hero and fixes the problem.
- The behavior is reinforced by the gratitude of others when the problem has been resolved.
For example, a procrastinator postpones a project or delays the completion of a project until it becomes an emergency, causing worry or stress for others. The procrastinator then does an excellent job of completing the project, often sacrificing his or her own personal need to do so. Unfortunately, this causes other people stress and hardship when working around the procrastination and may have detrimental effects on other people's work or on quality.
Dramatics may play the victim role. When their own performance results in a consequence that they do not like, their reaction becomes extreme. They use drama to distract the focus away from the initial behavior, thus minimizing the impact of the real problem. They may:
- Act shocked about the consequence.
- Act persecuted, as though the consequence is unjustified.
- Blame others.
- Have an emotional outburst, such as crying or yelling.
- Threaten extreme action, such as quitting or filing a lawsuit.