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June 14, 2015

Do You Work with a Constant Complainer?

It’s challenging to stay positive and be productive when you work with someone who constantly complains! Often, these people see only what isn’t working, what’s missing, what’s not right. They come across like victims at the mercy of circumstances. Here are some tips for working with this type of person.shutterstock_259490459

  • Acknowledge how they feel. They believe that they have a legitimate complaint that needs airing. Avoid rolling your eyes, sighing, looking bored or annoyed, and don’t minimize their pain by saying, “Things aren’t really so bad.” Remain neutral and non-judgmental.
  • Express sympathy. If you commiserate with them, you may be able to stop the complaining since sometimes they just want to vent to someone who listens.
  • Try focusing them on a solution, but don’t give them advice. Asking them what kind of resolution they want and what they plan to do to bring it about can often stop the complaining. Avoid giving advice because they will find reasons they cannot take it. Many complainers really don’t want a solution or to take action.
  • Be assertive. If they continue to complain, be polite and explain that you would rather not hear about what’s wrong. You sympathize with them and will support them, but you don’t want to listen to complaints.

Constant complainers in the office can undermine morale and productivity. Don’t allow a constant complainer to take over! See my blog post Being in a Good Mood Is Good Business for more information.

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