I came across a short blog post on coaching whiners which started off with the words “Ban whining.” Being a bit of a whiner myself (especially of crappy elevators), that definitely got my attention. So I continued to read on. Some lessons learned / reiterated by that post:
- Possibly behind a whiny complaint is a “constructive, actionable proposal.”
- Unloading is good. Sometimes, just having someone listen to you helps.
- For the whiner: Make it clear to the whinee* what you expect them to do about your rant. Give the whinee something solid to work with, especially if you expect him to take it up to management. Better yet, learn to take it up to management yourself.
- For the whinee: Find out what the whiner expects from you. Goad the whiner to come up with something solid to work with and to take some accountability for the complaint. It’s his problem after all.
- For the whinee: Don’t say this unless you mean it — “I’ll see what I can do about the problem.”
- Whining could be a symptom of a legitimate problem. Too much of it though, and the whining (and the whiner) becomes the problem.
- If it can’t be helped, then it can’t be helped. Breathe in, breathe out. Place your energies somewhere more productive and/or fun.
* – “whinee” being the person hearing the whiner out; NOT the thing being whined about.
[Edit] The post on Coaching Whiners is also available in the author’s website at this link.