⏮ Read the previous part of the “Principles” series here

We all like to complain from time to time, that’s in our nature, especially in my Polish nation. This post is not about judging who we are, but it’s about the way we should reduce this step from our conversation with others.

Take a deep breath

Imagine this situation: you talk to your boss (or even your colleague), there’s something you don’t particularly like about it, maybe the task isn’t perfect or there’s no enough information. Your peer states their point of view and as the response – you roll your eyes 🙄, exhales deeply and say that you don’t like it. The conversation goes forward, days go by and you’re done with the task.

Can you see what’s unnecessary here? Exactly, the grumpy part.

Replace or eliminate?

The rule is simple:

  • if you don’t have an opinion, just eliminate complaining and get your hands on the task’s execution
  • if you have a better idea or some questions, engage in the conversation, saying all you have to say, without any grudge on your side.

Why is it important?

No one wants to spend a lot of time on persuading someone else. From my own perspective, when I see that my conversation partner goes the grumpy way, I feel like the other person is mad at me like I’ve done something wrong and like I would like to do something bad to them. And that’s not the case 99% time.

I try to pause the conversation when I see something like this, say how I feel about it and ask if we can replace this behaviour by spending time on generating ideas or arguments why it might not be the best idea ever. And do this in a pleasant way, without aggrieving anyone.