Complain, Complain, Complain
We complain because we have what we believe is a legitimate concern that we really want to see addressed.
We complain to those who we think care. Because they are good listeners, because they react and/or empathize, or we believe they have the power to solve it.
And we complain to ourselves, because we will always listen! Although this may get to the point of creating unhealthy and unproductive thought patterns.
Behind every complaint from you, to you, or from and to you, there is a conversation that you are not having with the person/people about whom the complaint revolves.
Why do you not address something that bugs you? Let’s get the excuses out of the way.
Excuse: “I can’t change them anyway!”
You are right. You cannot change them. Are you afraid they will change you? They may change, but it will be because they want to.
Excuse: “They’ll think I’m being petty.”
If something is very important to you, then it matters, and there is opportunity for synergistic greatness, even if it starts small.
Excuse: “I don’t have the authority.”
So what? Done right, you are a person concerned about something important to both of you – and you can make a difference.
Excuse: “It will cause a rift in the relationship.”
Hasn’t it already, for you?
Excuse: “I know what they are going to say already!”
Do you? Great, then you can prepare better for the conversation.
Excuse: “I’ll get upset once we start talking.”
So what is it that you need to do to maintain your peace during the conversation? Do you know what brings you peace?
Take the bull by the horns
Have the difficult conversation. Can you thrive on that conflict, out of which come their frustrations and ideas, and your frustrations and ideas – a combination full of opportunities for creation of something cool? You have to believe that’s possible first!
Getting into the conversation can be the hardest thing to do. Showing up is half the battle. Decide to have the conversation, then be honest and phrase things in a way that avoids personal attacks.
What do you expect?
Setting expectations is very important. Spend a moment determining your main objective(s) of the conversation. If “…” happens, this will have been a success. Keep your initial expectations to a very small step. Those are very hard to take, and taking them will yield positive momentum.
“What’s really important to me in this conversation is…” You cannot climb a mountain in one step – no matter how great of a climber you are.
Stop! If the conversation is unproductive, agree to step away for a while, to think or to cool down. Agree to do this if it becomes necessary, before you start the conversation.
Believe in Greatness!
Believe great things can happen – out of conversation and through the people with whom you are interacting. The greatness you expect becomes the foundation for productive conversation.