The drama triangle is a concept that describes a pattern in human relationships. It describes 3 roles that can be taken in an interaction, more than one role can be assumed by the same person (I can even have a drama triangle interaction with myself):
When does the drama triangle become dysfunctional for a culture of individual accountability?
My findings in this inquiry are that whenever there is a lot of "talk about people", "others addressing issues instead of the person that has the issue" or "HR is becoming the messenger for issue addressing", the organization might have fallen into the trap of the drama triangle which stands in the way of taking responsibility to address issues directly, an open culture, transparency and ultimately trust.
What can you do to change the drama triangle?
As a leader whenever you hear feedback, critique or just some comments about a person not present in the interaction, acknowledge what you hear and friendly invite the person who has the feedback to share this with the relevant person. Come back to whether he/she has shared the feedback next time you see your colleague. If someone finds it difficult to share feedback, practice together. Sometimes it might help to just ask the person in question: "what would you like to be different?".
How to prevent drama triangles from becoming dysfunctional and create a healthy culture?
A robust and constructive feedback culture lies at the core of any healthy, fast-learning and high-performance organizational culture. The more leaders of an organization give an example in ASKING for feedback and creating openness for the exchange of perceptions the more people will do the same and create a culture of dialogue & learning.
What can you do to make feedback part of everyday organizational reality?
...that is another blog...:-)