WBU professor publishes book on drama in workplace

PLAINVIEW – Theatrics are great on the stage, but in your business or organization, they can be paralyzing to productivity. No doubt most employees or volunteers have experienced drama from time to time, but there are solutions to smoothing over the rocky roads.

In her new book, The Drama-Free Workplace, Dr. Yvonne LaMar provides practical tips for helping businesses and other groups move past the difficulty and succeed. LaMar, who is an assistant professor of education at Wayland Baptist University, works often with businesses through her Institute for Faith-Based Alliance, and she said the scenario is more the rule than the exception.

“Every organization believes it is just them, but it really is just people,” LaMar said. “I think drama is part of the work environment that people often don’t address. A lot of good people miss out on opportunities because they rely on drama to get their needs met.”

LaMar said she first encountered the problem while working with nonprofit organizations and churches with grant writing assistance, realizing early on that there were deeper needs within the groups than just funding. When she realized that businesses – even large Fortune 500 companies – face similar issues, she felt it was time for help.

“The book is full of experiences I’ve had with organizations that are starting to become more businesslike in their approach,” she explained. “I use a lot of case studies and examples, but it’s really a step-by-step process of working through the issue.”

LaMar said she can typically spot the tension and drama in a workplace early, and identifying the calm person who is weathering the storm is essential to picking out the issues and the people behind them. Drama, she said, is usually a sign that something bigger needs to be addressed.

“A lot of the issues have to do with mental blocks about what people can do. They lose confidence and doubt their leadership skills,” she said. “It’s about building an environment where people can feel capable, and building boundaries, providing room for people to work out the drama and get comfortable in their roles.”

LaMar is introducing the book locally through a workshop planned at Wayland’s Community Classroom on Dec. 3 or Dec. 6. The workshop, slated from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., includes lunch and a copy of the Drama-Free Workplace book. Cost is $100 per person and CEU credits are available.

During the workshop, LaMar said, participants will have a chance to address their own issues and share ideas while working through her process for creating a professional work environment.

The book will be published through Booklocker by mid-November, with LaMar hoping to place it in several local and area bookstores. Her previous book, God Provides the Sacrifice, spawned several book signings and speaking engagements, as well as an online newsletter. She has several other book ideas in the works, including a series called the Phenomenal Woman’s Guide.

For more information on the December workshops, contact Debbie Stennett at 291-3650.