The Karpman Drama Triangle defines the roles that people take on (and can switch between) in stressful, emotional or high-conflict situations. Dr Stephen Karpman identified three main roles that emerge: the persecutor, the victim and the rescuer.

We can often find ourselves drawn to a particular role. However, the reality is that we move around the three roles. Different circumstances—people, context, emotions, environment, topic—pull us towards one particular pattern of behaviour or another.

Becoming aware of our roles in the drama triangle can help us shift from one role to another, and even better, to a completely new role, like those defined by David Emerald Womeldorff: from victim to survivor/thriver/creator; from rescuer to coach; and from persecutor to challenger.

This awareness and shift can transform teams, foster better relationships, and make (almost) anything possible.

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