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  • Bob Burg

“Master the contents of Endless Referrals and you will practically GUARANTEE your future success.”

~ Tom Hopkins, Author, Master the Art of Selling

Work Effectively Within Their Drama

December 28th, 2010 by Bob Burg

In our last post we took another look at Personal Default Settings; this time — not in terms of our own but — those of others, and how to work within them most effectively for the benefit of all.

We left off discussing “Joe,” a great person who does some consulting/contracting work for me. We saw that his default setting, or drama was often on, “It can’t be done” or, “it’s impossible.”

In this video we’ll look at how I used to work with this challenge, how I do now and then the drama and solution of another friend of mine we’ll call “Susan.”

I hope you found that helpful. Perhaps it inspired an idea or two for when you encounter similar situations. Remember, before you can effectively work within another’s drama you must first be aware of and change your own. The most natural — and least effective — thing to do is to allow their drama to cause yours to surface. Overcome yours first, understand theirs. Then handle it like the pro you are.

Well, time to check on the cat again. LIBERTY!!

10 Responses to “Work Effectively Within Their Drama”
  1. Amy Wells said at 9:33 am on

    I wonder if I subconsciously know each of my team members default responses? I’m asking myself this question, because I know I converse with, and teach each one of them, in the unique manner in which I know successfully reaches them. I am going to tie a string on my finger this week as a reminder to consciously take notice of each of their default settings. Cool….I love that your blogs encourage me to think out loud. And thinking out loud is NOT my default setting.

  2. My wife, Kat, and I have one rule in our house above all others: no drama.

    I like THIS approach. Because as you pointed out, drama is just going to happen. I heard an echo of something I tend to tell people when they’re stressed: that they are all characters in their own movie. Similar perspective, but yours was better put.

    Thanks for the post.

    LOVE the Liberty interruption. : )

  3. I love this video Bob! I too have worked with people like the plumber in your first example. And instead of just being quiet, I get kind of sad and say, “Oh, such a shame”. Then I get a little quiet and probably say, “Well, it would be great if it COULD be done because it would make things so much easier”. Then I kind of go into a pondering mode and pull the person in there with me too so we ‘both’ can figure out some possibilities. It is kind of a subtle approach, but if you do it right, it could work.

    Your way is good too. I will give it a try next time I am in a similar situation.

  4. Bob Burg said at 11:26 am on

    Amy, knowing you as I do, and the caring you put into your relationships with all your team members and customers, I’m quite sure you do indeed know their default responses. You are such a great leader – much more than what you think you are. Keep up the great work!

    Chris, I love your and Kat’s one rule…it’s a GREAT one! Thank you for your kind words about the post. Liberty is funny. She tends to let me know what she’s thinking and doesn’t care if I’m recording. LOL

    Stephanie, thank you. Sounds like you have a nice way of working with people. Thank you for sharing with us.

  5. Geneva said at 7:09 pm on

    When someone tells me why it can’t be done, & I know it can….I begin to explain how I think it should be done. A little choleric tendency right? For instance…the maintenance man came to double rack my closet shelving. I have done this many, many times as I am known as “Ms. Tim-the-Tool-Man-Taylor” to those who know me. His first complaint was not being able to find the studs to secure the anchors. To which I offered my handy-dandy stud finder. He doesn’t like to use it & left a mess to which he would have to patch. I resisted criticism.
    Then….he didn’t have the correct anchors, to which I introduced him to my fully furnished mini tool cabinet. Then…he couldn’t do something else & I offered how it could be done.
    So…in this instance….would silence have been the best answer? I was frustrated at his lack of confidence & inability to problem solve what appeared to me simple things. Maybe incompetence was a better term. I didn’t, however, show any of that frustration (drama) to him, & I didn’t argue, just OFFER. Work with me here!
    I was glad not to have to double shelve the closet, glad to have lost the control, but still wanted to direct the project….YIKES!

    I am learning how to ask them questions that prompt problem solving skills, rather than just directly tell them how I think it should be done. I think this will help them the next time they run into this situation. I always think of how much nicer the “next time” could be for some woman that doesn’t have a clue. The old adage…..”It’s OK for who it’s for” is NOT my fav quote!

    I appreciate the lesson & it was a great vid to watch while eating tortilla soup. I am learning to ask the right questions & surrender control, while not succumbing to their default drama. Definitely a work in progress!


  6. Amy Wells said at 7:14 pm on

    Oh my goodness Bob, all day I tried to find their settings and couldn’t.

  7. Bob Burg said at 9:11 pm on

    Geneva: Your first sentence just told me your default setting/drama when in that situation. “When someone tells you it can’t be done, you begin to explain how you think it should be done.” Now that you know that, and are aware of it, you can work of changing your default setting. Once you’ve done that you’ll be in a great position to more effectively work with those very people. Regarding the individual person and your question as to whether silence would be the best response (as it was with Joe in my example), not necessarily. Each person is different. You’ll need to determine that yourself. And, regarding your very last sentence, Geneva…we are ALL a work in progress. Proud of you, my friend!

    Amy: You don’t need to force the situation in order to find their settings. 🙂

  8. Tinamarie Predel said at 10:15 am on

    Thank you for the great tool to add to my tool box Bob, you are very much apprciated!
    And as usual, it came a very timely time! How do you do that!? 🙂

  9. Jean Kuhn said at 11:05 am on

    Just want to say Bob, I am loving the video blogs.

  10. Bob Burg said at 11:08 am on

    Tinamarie: Thank you, I appreciate your very kind words. Regarding the timing…I think it’s nothing more than the fact that many of these areas are things we all (myself especially) need to continue and work on. I appreciate you.

    Jean: Thank you. I greatly appreciate that kind feedback!

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