Sunshine, Rainbows and Unicorns aren’t All They’re Cracked up to Be

… or why whiners and complainers are worth listening to.


Broc Edwards, blogger at fool with a plan, recently included the following paragraph in one of his blogs.

People who truly care about the results they are creating in their jobs aren’t always happy. They’re frequently frustrated, irritated, and torqued off at the people and processes and policies between them and the outcomes they are trying to create. Engaged people take ownership and responsibility and that doesn’t always bring sunshine and rainbows and unicorns.

 It’s easy to brush off whiners and complainers as nothing but whiners and complainers but when we consider the above comment, perhaps they shouldn’t be brushed off so quickly.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every person on your team truly cared about their job and owned their role in the success of your business and their professional goals?  But chances are, you have some people on your team who don’t care, who are the walking zombies Broc refers to. They are warm bodies who fill up a time slot on your schedule.  They may not complain but it’s because they don’t care enough to complain.  They may walk in with smiles but if you asked them how to improve a process or customer service, they wouldn’t be able to tell you, because they don’t care.

On the other hand, the person who keeps coming to you with complaints may be someone who really cares and if you brush the complainer off as nothing but a whiner, they may stop caring; they may stop coming to you with information that could make your business better.

Some people are lousy communicators, which is really too bad, especially when the information they are trying to share is valuable.

The next time someone comes to you with a complaint, take the time to really listen. Ask questions, including suggestions on how they would address the problem. If they hadn’t thought that far, ask them to.  You just may help turn the whiner and complainer who cares into a contributing ally.


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