It’s been a long week of varying sized hassles after last week’s hassles and the week before that. Hassles, snarls, frustrations – don’t have to move very far in any particular direction to slam into one. It is what it is. Job security. Life.
“If they would just…” begins the statement – ‘they’ being some power-that-be at work – and so formulates the complaint. ‘They’ should fix something to make my work go more smoothly. I can’t meet my deadlines because ‘they’ make the process more difficult. And on and on in hundreds of permutations goes the complaint.
More personally, ‘she’ – when a person accepts a position as a boss that person must expect to become part of ‘they’, a representative of management induced worker frustrations – ‘she’ expects too much. (If you aren’t ready or willing to be ‘she’ or ‘he’ – personally representing ‘they’ – then think twice about being a boss. It comes with the territory, even in the best of circumstances.)
The complaints slip out as an easy release when coworkers talk in pairs or groups. Sensible, short term stress relief. But also potentially toxic.
Complaints aren’t a be all and end all, but a starting point for a solution. If you want something to get better a complaint by itself isn’t going to accomplish anything. A complaint by itself is an abdication of any responsibility for improvement. A complaint by itself is acceptance of the hassle as part of your lot.
- an expression of discontent, regret, pain, censure, resentment,or grief; lament; faultfinding:
- his complaint about poor schools.
In order for a complaint to become an effective long term method for hassle reduction, it has to move into being a solution.
I’ve seen the echo of ‘she’ coworker complaints on plenty of faces over the years. More than I can count. But I can count the number of times that someone on my team has come forward to ask for clarification, to talk further, to want to discuss a potential solution. And I don’t mean guns blazing accusations, but measured discussion. Seeking understanding. I wish I could say this approach was utilized more.
Nobody really intends to create hassles – well, ok some small subset of the population gets a kick out of it. Plans filter down from senior management to middle management to the people that get it done day after day. Honest discussions about improving the plan can happen at any level.
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