When I managed a team of people a few years ago, we all lived by a list of 5 office rules. One of the best but more difficult to live up to was this – don’t complain unless you have a productive solution to offer.
Most of us spend a lot of time at work whining about what’s not working, who’s not pulling their weight and how rotten things are. According to social psychologists, there are some reasons we do this, but there are even more reasons why we don’t have to do it!
But most people simply complain.
Making it an office policy to identify a fault only if we could identify a solution did lead to some challenging team meetings. Eventually though, we only focused on creating ways to move forward.
Action – You may find it hard to live and work by this rule yourself, but if you’re willing, commit to figuring out what’s wrong AND finding a solution.
(Originally broadcast July 24, 2008)