Thursday, September 04, 2008

The No Complaining Rule Book

I recently read a copy of John Gordon's, The No Complaining Rule Book, subtitled Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work.

I was a bit struck by the title which is allegedly a positive book but speaking about complaining and negativity seemed a little strange.

This book is told in storybook fashion and generally speaking, I prefer books to get to the point than using storybook style; however, I do know there are a number of people who do like storybooks.

I totally agree with the thesis of the book which is you will have more fun and you will do better, the company will do better if you don’t complain and look at things positively.

The book has numerous good ideas on how to reduce complaining and the one thing that I liked was a no complaining week personal action plan which includes:

Day one - monitor your thoughts and words
Day two - make a gratitude list
Day three - take a thank you walk
Day four - focus on good staff
Day five - start a success journal
Day six - let go
Day seven – breathe

Although the book is fairly shallow, I would still recommend it and think it has some good ideas.

And the quote for the day (this one requires thought).

"We are confronted by insurmountable opportunities."

Walt Kelly "pogo" (comic strip)


At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Olga Lednichenko said...

Too much energy is spent on silly things. Some call it small stuff. Some politics. Some put office or work place before politics. I just call it PUSH-AND-PULL. A bad game. Perhaps, our previous generations are to be blamed for this:

Anyway, here is my WHY. WHAT> HOW of the push-pull game:

Though I am no expert, I have noticed the following Situations:

1. Insecurity-

Many workers with low self esteem & possibly poor social development, feel insecure about their positions. In most cases this stems from paranoia and some sort of hallucination.

Insecure workers feel “small” or “insignificant” compared to confident managers & spend a lot of time thinking “how” to make them “look” small.
This, obviously takes their focus away from the tasks they are allocated with & creates a completely unnecessary atmosphere of below the surface hostility.

2. Envy / Jealousy-

This trait is also quite widespread & many of such “envying” managers be from the previous group on “insecure” workers. But they are not necessarily complimentary, just an overlap I’d admit.

Envious managers can pick any quality of the envied manager, to brood about. Success, smartness, domain knowledge, social skills, appearance, acceptability with colleagues of the opposite sex & so on so forth.
Just as in personal life, professional envy keeps burning up the worker every time s/he sights the envied ones.

Soon entire energy is spent on trying to prove that the “envied” one is “not” as good as the “jealous” one.
As this feeling begins at a very personal level, coworkers may fail to observe the obvious giveaways of such an emotion. However, over a period of time this becomes public knowledge.

3. Competition-

This is a natural “professional” trait & very useful if handled in an unbisaed way. In many cases the competition becomes one-to-one & stoops down to a personal level. Then comes the one-up-manship. Which, again is not necessarily a bad thing.
The problem is, many of us are not satisfied by doing “better” than our “rivals”! They also take a lot of initiative to “make the rival look bad” to the management or colleagues.
This is one of the most unwelcome scenario & the company management should be able to identify & negate this, ASAP.
The problem is, at times even senior-managers choose camps, for ulterior motives & use such “rivals” to their own benefits!
Some seniors opt to overlook or avoid getting into a coaching role and allow the fights till professional death of one rival or the other.
Unfortunately, the organisation gets polarised & people fail to align to the corporate goals in such a situation.
As a result overall output suffers & many novices, who take sides without proper understanding, gets burnt. Weathered veterans jump ship & manage to keep their careers steady, whereas these juniors are left holding a very sour lemon indeed.

4. Inferiority Complex- This can be active, passive & rarely positive.

5. Personal Goals & Targets-

I think this is the biggest problem facing corporations around the globe. There are easy & effective solutions, which the management needs to implement. Not difficult to channelize such negative energy into very beneficial ends.
But & it’s a BIG BUT, this can happen only when the management is ready “to see” and “act”.

6. Tendency to make immediate gains-

Generally related to unbridled ambition & material desires. Good corporations can sniff this habit soon

enough, or else, they become the Enrons & Citibanks of the corporate world.

IF you find my observations close to reality, we can discuss more and arrive at some solutions :)


Olga Lednichenko


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