It was 2pm and I was on my way to a client meeting at 2:30 pm. I felt like having a coffee and decided to stop at the Starbucks on my way to the client’s office. As I entered the Starbucks, I noticed that the queue was rather long and seemed to be not moving. I was debating if I should continue to stand and decided to give it five minutes before I decide to walk out. I heard several murmurs in the queue and complaints about the Starbucks barista’s being too slow.
I started getting impatient and though I realized that not every barista could be the same, my gut told me that there is more to it than meets the eye. I decided to find out what was going on. I requested the man standing behind me to accommodate me when I get back, stating the reason to him as to why I was leaving the queue.
I moved to the front of the queue and realized that a customer was creating a situation and the barista was having a tough time trying to manage this customer. I looked at my watch and realized I had no more than 10 minutes to spare, in order to be at my client’s office on time. And by then, I was determined to have my coffee. I asked for the manager and requested that the manager take care of the situation and have the barista attend to the other customers. I was able to get my coffee within 7 minutes and leave Starbucks to be on time for my clients meeting.
How often do we face similar situations in life and at work where we have to deal with whiners and complainers? The negativity that arises from such situations increases the annoyance factor and doesn’t help anyone solve the issue.
Complaining is a vain way of expressing something without gaining relief. Click To Tweet
Not every complaint may be of importance and more often than not it is whining. Complaining is a stressful thing to do and listen to. As a leader, how do you turn whiners into contributors and avoid the negativity from spiraling? Click To Tweet
Be concerned about genuine complaints or concerns but create an environment to turn the moaners to a friendlier and productive lot.
1. Environment – create an environment which promotes creativity and for your team to use their talent to the fullest. You can create a culture where people connect, share ideas, and improve relationships. Leadership is engagement. In Leadership Mastery, first released in 2000 by Dale Carnegie & Associates, the “secret sauce” is to challenge yourself and others to greatness. Inspiration and motivation are the key ingredients. A challenging environment where each team member feels that their creativity is being used and is being appreciated for their contribution creates an atmosphere of low tolerance level for whiners.
2. Values – how can you as an individual align your values to your firm’s values? Again as a leader, how can you allow the values of your team to be in sync with the company’s vision and their behaviors? An environment that creates a dissonance between the individual values and that of the company’s values promotes dissatisfaction.
3. Accountability – holds each of your team members accountable and secure their confidence. Once you build a culture and live by the value of expecting solutions, you raise the bar and shift the accountability back to each person including the whiners. You help them become a contributor by challenging them to think of solutions and they take responsibility in achieving success despite the odds.
4. Commitment and Positive Attitude – Expecting solutions increases creativity and builds confidence in each of your team members to come up with a solution that works and is acceptable to everyone. You facilitate your team to unleash their power of not to give up and get their commitment to arrive at workable possibilities. This creates a positive attitude and one that is inspiring and motivating.
5. Reward and feedback – you as a leader should not take the importance of giving positive feedback for granted. People whine because they just feel they are underutilized or have not contributed to the idea that they have been told to work on. When people are made to feel like a cog in the wheel, lack of commitment ensues. Praise every improvement every step of the way. You can show them you care for their effort in making a difference to the company’s vision.
Change starts with me and with each of us. It is easy to complain and whine but ask yourself what can you do to make a difference? Click To Tweet
Can you be the solution or provide a solution to the cause of the problem? If you have the time to whine and complain, you can make the time to do something about it. Click To Tweet
The most important team player can be a person who has transitioned from a whiner to a contributor.
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