Are Learning and Development Professionals At Risk for Drama?

Posted on June 7, 2016 by Nate Regier / 0 comments
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Surely the world’s top learning professionals don’t participate in drama! Or do we?

If you visited our booth at the 2016 ATD International Conference and Expo in Denver, you probably experienced the Drama Resilience Assessment (DRA), our online profile of a person’s drama risks and compassion potentials. We debriefed several hundred DRA profiles with L&D professionals from around the world. The aggregate results are shown below. We won’t say it’s a perfect measure of the industry, but it is a significant cross-section of conference attendees. Click here to view full report.

Here are the highlights:

  • Overall, L&D professionals show more compassion than drama. The numbers in the brightly colored circle are larger than the dark triangles. This is good! We have our priorities right and our behavior is mostly consistent with our positive intent.
  • The most likely drama role for L&D professionals is Rescuer, the tendency to help in a way that creates dependence rather than competence. When we slip into drama, we tend to think we know what’s best for others and our behavior shows it. Unfortunately, some consultants and trainers make a living creating dependence and being an indispensable expert rather than focusing on sustainability and confidence in their clients.
  • The second-highest drama risk is Victim. As a helping profession, it’s easy to second-guess ourselves, give in to keep the peace, and keep from speaking up even when we know better.
  • Persistence is our most developed Compassion Skill. We aren’t quitters! We believe in people and are willing to struggle with them to help them succeed.
  • These results are different from other industries. For example, the nursing profession tends to have higher Open scores and a much higher risk for Victim drama. New managers, especially those who have not received adequate leadership training, are big-time Rescuers. They haven’t learned how to lead, they rely on telling others what to do. C-Level executives, especially the more traditional top-down ones, slip into Persecutor more often, adopting the attitude of “my way or the highway.”
  • Times are changing. Drama is an energy vampire. Compassionate Accountability leads to much better outcomes.

Here’s a video of Dr. Regier, Next Element CEO and Co-Founding owner, giving a brief interpretation of these results.


How can the DRA fit into your culture-change initiatives? We’d love to explore it with you! Give us a call.

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