Does Your Office Need a “No Complaining Rule”?

I’m not a fan of complaining… well, at least not the chronic kind that is rooted in negativity instead of being a catalyst for seeking solutions.

Mindless complaining is useless. It not only makes the complainer more pessimistic, it also brings everyone around them down. It’s a lose-lose.

Complaining CAN be productive though, when it’s used constructively in a way that brings light to a problem that needs to get solved (and by “solved” I mean…. resulting action being taken so that the problem is indeed taken care of instead of just talked about more).

But complaining just for the sake of complaining… boo. It’s lame. (You’d agree, right?)

We’re all guilty of it though, some more than others.

If you work in an office there is no doubt you know a few Chronic Complainers who seem to find the bad in everything they can. They are the naggers, the whiners, the gossipers, the people who focus on the negative. And then there’s those who not only complain but they bring every conversation back to something negative about them. You know who they are and you can’t stand it when they do it, can you?

So what do you do? How do you handle them?

Here’s one way. Watch this video below…

Perhaps the better way though is to issue a NO COMPLAINING RULE in your office, school, church, etc. Let people know that you’re not going to stand for mindless, negative complaining any more. Complaints are okay once in a while but the chronic kind… no way. Complaints are only useful when followed up with suggested solutions.

The world has enough negativity. We need to be solution seekers and help those around us direct our energies into positive things, things that lift us up and that help us move forward.

Here are a few resources to help you along the way…

  • Use the No Complaining Rule Discussion Guide or other group resources here.

Before you go… take a minute to watch this other No Complaining Rule video. Hilarious… although we do not condone utilizing stun guns / tazers on those who complain. : )

QUESTION: How do you deal with complaining in your office?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Love the idea of "no complaining rule", but there's usually more to it, like the iceberg, what's under the surface drives what you see on the surface. Complainers play either the "victim" or "martyr" pattern, according to Sylvia Lafair in "Don't Bring It to Work"–this pattern was shaped by things that happened in their first organization, the family. Check it out. The good news is patterns can change with a little work so it's worth the read to make the change.

    • Thanks MJ. I agree. THIS is often the result of THAT. Something from their past, internal issues, etc. Complaints aren't all bad… it's just mindless complaining that is. If and when we take a stand on it, we can not only help ourselves and our organizations but we can also help those complainers perhaps move past those issues that are causing them to be negative in the first place. Not an easy task but if we care about our teams and our future, it's worth the investment.

  • Pingback: Does Your Office Need a "No Complaining Rule"? | Jon Gordon's Blog | Developing Positive Leaders, Organizations and Teams()

  • Pingback: No Complaining? Sign Me Up! | Musings()

  • I worked for a while in a University's marketing team. On a Friday we would usually head to the pub after work to 'download' and recover from the week. Very often this would result in a tirade of complaining. So we set up a rule – you had 1hr to complain and moan as much as you wanted to, but after that hour was up you had to move onto something else. After all, nobody really wants to spend their social time in the company of a bunch of miserable blokes.

    Personally I'm not a fan of moaning. I can see it has a place, but if the same subject keeps coming up then you have to make a change. I told my girlfriend at the time (now wife) this and she ended up switching careers. She's now much happier and an easier person to live with.

  • Pingback: How to deal with a squeaky wheel. | Really Big Peach()

  • Love this idea!