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No solutions before complaints.

If you're the kind to say, "I don't want to hear complaints only solutions," stop it.

This is the kind of expression tech bros like to say to show they're “action oriented” but I have a contrary opinion. Taking action without listening to the whole problem is reckless. We shouldn't take impulsive, emotional action just because we lack the backbone to hear a complaint.

Acknowledging complaints isn't about indulging in negativity; it's about understanding the full spectrum of an issue. Complaints often contain valuable insights; they reveal underlying problems that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Saying "I don't want to hear complaints only solutions" to your team:

  • Invalidates our need to express ourselves

  • Silences those without seniority to change things

  • Limits the collective knowledge

Dismissing complaints in favor of immediate solutions not only undermines the importance of empathy and understanding but also risks implementing quick fixes that fail to address root causes. By actively listening to complaints, we demonstrate respect for diverse perspectives and pave the way for more effective, sustainable solutions.

So instead say:

  • I want to solve this, tell me what bothered you.

  • We'll solve this together, but I need to know what happened first.

  • Who else can I talk to about this to get a 360° view of the issue? (That last one will particuly placate the corporate overlords.)

Fostering a culture that welcomes complaints alongside solutions is essential for meaningful progress.

It's not about dwelling on problems but rather about embracing them as opportunities for growth and improvement. So next time you're tempted to shut down complaints, consider that they might hold the key to unlocking better, more thoughtful solutions.

Laura-Ray Read inspired this post. You can read more from here right here.


2 Kommentare

Brilliant article! Thanks for calling out such a prevalent and toxic mindset (and for the kudos 😉).

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Antwort an

Always keen to give kudos! I just uploaded so much kudos to the Write Wiser IG today and now I need to stop social media-ing for the day haha! Appreciate your support, Laura-Ray.

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