Leadership essentially includes personnel dramas. This includes the happy-clappy ones who eventually give everyone a headache and the drama queens for whom nothing is ever right.
We see this in every walk of life – consider politics. Remember some years ago Senator Jacqui Lambie of Tasmania and the Palmer United Party's leader Clive Palmer who made the claim she was planted to cause trouble.
Remember the Prime Ministers – Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison and their swapping seat dramas - and the National Party leadership. The same senior roles occur in a wide range of businesses, organisations, voluntary bodies, child care, churches, missions --
First we might discuss what exactly is a drama queen – they may not even realise their social capital is lacking some very basic courtesy manners and moreover tend to be overly focused on themselves.
This is a broad based cursory list of such
A drama queen may find fault with everyone they encounter and express these opinions. A drama queen tend to undermine not only their colleagues but work procedures / projects and are very ‘clever’ about it all.
A drama queen will get into positions of power whereby they can exercise an authority that will disrupt, bring to bear, be hurtful to specific people, and be sweetness and light until their true colours are revealed.
There are countless television shows and series where the author of the original book has such characters where the script writers then bring to life these people and the actors involved express these characteristics brilliantly.
We can think of the characters in Downtown Abbey, Dad's Army, Lost in Space, Foyle's War, Midsummer Murders, One Foot in the Grave, The Office …. in point, the very nature of television drama thrives on the perennial troublesome person.
What can be done
Ultimately they go too far, what they have been doing in their undermining comes to light, sometimes they get moved out or even promoted …. but in the meantime the rest of those engaged with them have to put up with them and their antics and the question is, how to survive it and in the meantime, curtail it all.
There are several strategies may be employed to handle the drama queen - be proactive and make them a friend for there maybe something else going on in their lives and that this is the reaction to such. Be careful regarding clinging ….
Make a careful audit of their antics where such behaviour has detracted from the task at hand, making money or the smooth operation for the business. That will bring it out into the open.
In meetings, clarify very carefully the proposals put up by the drama queen and identify the weaknesses and potential to create unwanted attention to the business and its staff peace and calm.
Never allow yourself to be bullied, stand up to the bullying behaviour as the drama queen thrives on it. The Dad's Army program illustrates how Private Godfrey the very elderly gentleman is heard to say in a number of programs: “I don't like that type of thing”, and “I've never been persuaded by such talk” and inevitably he stand his ground and the others rally round.
Moving them out
ore often than not it is much easier than one might think. If the entertainment value goes out of the situation, the drama queen often leaves of their own accord as it becomes boring.
Other mechanisms is to isolate them whereby the numbers will always be in favour of the process and their influence becomes consistently diminished.
Threaten to send in a minority report to the management. It will become very quickly evident that the group is being persuaded in one direction and serious questions will be put. Positions may be lost.
In Churches and Missions, the same principles apply. I do not know how many sit-coms I have viewed over the years involving a church / parish committee, and the running of the committee is governed by one overpowering troublesome person.
These are practical issues that require mundane, boring, soul searching and difficult practical answers. Sometimes they end up in splits. Like Paul and Barnabas, the two ideas cannot be reconciled. We live in a real world where tough questions, sometimes require even tougher responses.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 25 books, and enjoys writing. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded ‘The Gutenberg’ - the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. He and David Chang editor of Christian Today together bought the young writer ministry into fruition in 2009. In 2011 Mark established Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) for missionary respite and replicated at Aldinga Beach 2016 (Adelaide) and Greens Beach Bass Straight (TAS). His ministry is honoured all these years by Christian philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM. He is married to Delma (44 years), with four adult married children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/dr-mark-t.html