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Surrounded by complaints? You are not alone!
Simply because research shows that an average person complains between 15-30 times a day. Now that’s average! Not counting people working during recession on furloughs or while going through major political and social transformation. That is not bringing into account personal life changes and careers choices that affect our language. What?! Would you say those 50% of couples who go through divorce in US* can get away holding their tongues? Or do you think the roughly 400,000 civil and criminal court cases** leaves all parties satisfied happily ever after without complaining? How about those 3.5 million underpaid teachers helping us educate our next generation? Have you heard them complain?
You will be my hero if you can claim there are no complaints in your organization. If you can hold the banner of a complaint-free culture, I would be super curious as to how. If you have eliminated the language of complaint in your world, hats off to you.
I haven’t! I have a 13 year old in middle school. Venting to me after school is a chore of his. I am a coach! A big part of my job is LISTENING. I hear complaints even when I cover my ears! That one is in my own head, however. But really, if there’s not a nagging complaining voice, why would you want to grow, improve, develop and become a better version of yourself? or improve your processes at your organization?
Well, I can go on and on. But I guess the point is rather clear. People complain. We all do.It’s part of our daily language and communication. However, the way complaint is received and processed makes a huge difference, in relationships, organizations and communities. Complaint can stir curiosity for seeing differently, acting differently and being differently. Or can create a toxic environment that would make the strongest of us wither.
Do you see the power of complaint?
I don’t want to get into the recently fashionable “ 4 ways” and “ 5 rules” and “ 6 reasons”. I generally don't believe in one size fits all for anything that relates to human behavior and culture. And I truly don't believe even if I do offer “ 4 ways” it will be implemented just by reading a blog. But I do believe, proper handling of complaints can improve organization culture. I do believe that listening to complaints the right way AND complaining the right way can save organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars not just by improving processes but also by reducing employee turn over and client loyalty. I do believe that directed complaint opens the room for feedback.
So, let’s get curious! Let’s get to work!
First step of any development, of any growth, personally and in an organization is : (Self) Observation.
When was the last time you caught yourself complaining?
When was the last time you heard and listened to passionate complaints of your employees?
When was the last time you did something about them?
If not now, then when?
I am here to listen!
* The number is actually declining http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/02/divorce-rate-declining-_n_6256956.html