This past week I had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Swindling, JD, CSP. She is a former lawyer turned author and negotiator. During the interview she talked about her research around the area of complainers. She identified the different types of complainers and told us a little about how to deal with each of them.
I found this interview very interesting. I believe it is true that people hate complainers. I have this acquaintance, lets call her Betty… not her real name of course, from an organization that we both belong to and she complains and is negative all the time. It is impossible to have even one conversation with her without her complaining about something. When we go to lunch… she complains, when you meet her in passing she complains, right after a great speaker gave a terrific message at the meeting we just attended… she complains.
I think my guest Linda hit it right on the mark. People hate complainers! I know I do. Recently I had a dinner and in putting the guest list together, Betty and her husband were not invited… why… I hate her complaining and negativity.
Think about it… if you are in hospitality… do you want a cashier who is a complainer? If you are in healthcare.. do you want a doctor or nurse that is a complainer? If you are looking for the next promotable employee… are you going to pick a complainer? The answer is no to all of these. think of it from the reverse… how do you feel about a constant complainer? There is a difference between a product of service that is ” wrong” or “not working”, and being a complainer.
I also realized that sometimes I complain. It is one thing to complain to yourself and another to complain in public. Complaining has a negative impact on people and I believe taints relationships. I believe that a success secret is to stop complaining. As a business coach I am going to add this little item to my coaching list. When I coach those low level managers who want to climb the corporate ladder, I think I will be on the look out to see if they are a complainer. You may want to go pick up Linda’s book on Complaining.
In the book The Art of War, there is a wise saying that we need to choose our battles carefully. I think we need to also choose our complaining… carefully. Tune in to the show on May 30th. Voice America World talk Radio, Today’s Inspiring Women.