Two Ways to Decrease Whining in the Office

Got wine?

Er, we mean whine. (And yes, since 5 o’clock is approaching on a Friday evening, it’s definitely on the brain).

One of the most popular blog posts today on Forbes relates to “The First Rule of Management: No Whining.” Although it’s geared toward managers and positive leadership (one manager in particular had a no whining sign in the office!), we can all benefit from this lesson. After all, at one point or another there’s been a whiner in the office that negativity typically spreads to other colleagues as well.

1. Accountability. In the piece Ron Ashkenas recommends that employees solve their own problems after they’ve identified them. In other words, take ownership. “There will be times where they may not have the authority or resources to execute the solution — and in those cases they should propose a solution along with their request for help.”

2. Positivity. This couldn’t be more true. Negativity can spiral out of control and breed more negativity but the opposite also rings true. One person’s positive thoughts and attitude may breed infectious positivity on others as well. When it comes to problem solving instead of instituting the blame game, he also mentions most teammates don’t wake up in the morning trying to make the manager’s life difficult.

They are probably just doing their job in the best way they know — and no amount of whining will change that. A more productive path would be to better understand the nature of the problem and move towards creating a joint solution.”