Stop the merry go around … I wanna to get off

Understanding how the drama triangle is impacting your leadership and business

Naomi Knight
6 min readMar 8, 2020


Ran Berkovich on Unsplash

Have you noticed how often we complain about drama, to only be caught up in the next drama filled situation a moment later.

Drama feeds our ego.

We get caught up in the emotion and all too easily find ourselves slipping into roles, which if we calmly contemplated might be otherwise unacceptable to us.

From CEOs, administrative staff to Boards of Directors, we all have the same tendency to unconsciously engage in and even create drama. These interactions and dynamics can make us feel important. For some it might bolster a own sense of importance, power, control, or soothe our feelings of shame and accountability as we relinquish responsibility for ourselves by embracing victimhood. Sometimes drama is our ‘normal’: the environment in which we feel most safe and confident.

We manifest this dynamic– in different ways and with differing levels of frequency — in every aspect of our lives — personally and professionally.

Over two decades of leading global and domestic corporate, government and social gain organisations, I have learnt that our workplaces are some of the most drama filled spaces in our life.

From the dynamic around the board table, to team meetings, client interactions and market position, aspects of the drama triangle infuse every aspect of organisational life.

And If you stop and detangle conversations, actions and mindsets — I think you will start to see for yourself, how often you or others adopt one of the roles on the drama triangle and the impacts that it has had (and continues to have) on how the situation/decision unfolded.

What is the “Drama Triangle”

A social model introduced by Robert Karpman in the 1970s, the drama triangle illuminates destructive patterns of people in conflict.

In any conflict, there comes a moment where an individual, team or even organisation has the opportunity to engage, typically by assuming the victim, rescuer or persecutor role. In some conflicts, the evolving narrative and the roles others have…



Naomi Knight

Constantly striving for mastery in the art of kintsugi, Naomi is an expert alchemist skilled in transforming life lessons and professional challenges into gold.