(#246) Are You Bitching or Are You Pitching?

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.

Image: David Castillo Dominici @FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: David Castillo Dominici @FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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.

Image: Meawpong3405@ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Meawpong3405@

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.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Please share it (and any of the archived posts on this site) with friends and colleagues. You also can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you get a chance, visit my Facebook page and join in–or start–a conversation (www.facebook.com/stevepiscitelli).  If you have suggestions for future posts, leave a comment.

Check out my website (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

Information on my book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.

(c) 2015. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


About stevepiscitelli

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This entry was posted in Appropriate Behavior, awareness, collaboration, collegiality, Connection-Disconnection, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Discipline, Energy Vampires, Haters, Personal Wellbeing, problem solving, Reflective practice, responsibility, teamwork and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to (#246) Are You Bitching or Are You Pitching?

  1. Liyah says:

    I feel that I could use this on the daily bases because I do a lot of complaining and I don’t realize how good I have it compared to some people. so from now on for every complaint im going to make a solution. hopefully I could learn to stop complaining so much about the little things and make an make things happen the best way I can.


  2. Chelsie says:

    Very motivational article, although I believe some people don’t always have a legitimate reason to ”bitch” to even have a possible “pitch”. This works for the people who have accurate complaining means, but what about those who just do it to be miserable?


  3. Jakina Williams says:

    I also feel like this is me on a daily basis because out of most people I can say I have it pretty good but sometimes I just want more and not realizing that I want more of the wrong things. My mom brought to my attention that I never have a helpful solution and a plan. From now on I will set a goal to make useful solutions to my issues.


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