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Turning complaints into contributions



We all have coworkers that complain, but why are complaints so excessive in our work environments? Sometimes people want attention, sometimes they want sympathy, or sometimes coworkers just need to get something off of their chest.

This week instead of adding to the negative discussion, look at complaints as an opportunity to be a more proactive employee.

Try these two tips to help you shift the conversation to a more positive one:

Listen Actively

Sometimes it’s best to simply play an active listening role. If you really listen to the coworker’s complaint and repeat it back to them, they may realize they are overreacting. Or other times they may just need someone to listen.

Help solve the problem

If you feel comfortable enough with the coworker, it can also be helpful to ask them what they are doing to solve the issue they are complaining about. If they don’t have an answer, you can create a more proactive environment by helping them brainstorm possible solutions to the problem.

Complaints can transform our work environment in either a positive or negative way. Many times we can control this outcome by simply listening actively and being proactive, rather than just adding to the complaint.


©2018 ATD of Chattanooga

Chattanooga Area Chapter of ATD
P.O. Box 28214
Chattanooga, TN 37424

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