Do you work (or live) with someone who endlessly pontificates,
grouses, grumbles, moans and laments?
One of my mentors taught me a valuable lesson near the beginning of my teaching career. Dr. Veronica Valentine had a simple “rule” if anyone came to her with a complaint. She would listen to your gripe AND expect you to propose a solution. At least, she wanted you to start a conversation about the next step. I knew that I could voice objections without repercussions. And I knew the concomitant expectation: Propose a solution.
Sounds so simple doesn’t it.
Perhaps you work (or live) with someone who endlessly pontificates, grouses, grumbles, moans and laments. Or maybe one of your co-workers is always the “philosopher” on every subject that comes up. (At times the philosopher is nothing more than a complainer.) Is there ever a reasoned solution attached to the criticisms? If not, other than spewing toxins into the air, what community or team good comes from all of the rumbling?
Video recommendation for the week:
Consider this the next time you or someone on your team wants to bitch for the sake of bitching without anything meaningful coming from it. Demand that the bitching be accompanied with a bit of pitching.
Instead of throwing out one bitch after another, here’s what could be pitched:
- A proposed solution
- A new perspective
- A brainstorming session
- A question-storming session
- A questioning of assumptions
- A search for more facts
- An examination/self-introspection/reflection of the bitch itself (could be the person or the complaint).
Reasoned and well-thought out conflict can be healthy for a team. What starts as a complaint may lead to growth. If trust exists, the team can build on the problems. A great leader knows how to foster this. Otherwise we have a bitch session.
So, for the coming week, if you find yourself (or co-workers) bitching make sure to encourage some well-meaning pitching.
Make it a great week. And H.T.R.B. as needed.
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(c) 2015. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.