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How to Stop People Complaining

How to Stop People Complaining

How to Stop People Complaining

To stop people complaining, use this four-step formula:

  1. Listen without interruption for a while.
  2. Empathise with how they feel.
  3. Ask them, "What are you going to do about it?"
  4. Keep asking what THEY intend to do about it, until they stop complaining and start doing something to make it better.

To stop people complaining, take these simple steps.

1. For a while, listen without interruption.

For a while at least, you need to let people talk about how they feel. Give them a chance to express their thoughts and feelings.

But not forever. After a definite point, more complaining is not adding any value to anyone. Not even to the complainer.

So, now it is time to take step 2.

2. Empathise with how they feel.

Empathise with how they feel. Don't make them out to be wrong. Just empathise with them. Use the following words, "I understand you are feeling, BLANK (Angry, upset, annoyed, etc) and I can understand why: But let me ASK YOU A QUESTION..."

3. Ask them this fantastic question.

Say to them "What are you going to do about it?" or "What do you intend to do to make the situation better?

When you ask them what they intend to do to make the situation better, you are taking the conversation out of the negative state and putting into the positive state.

You are changing it into talking about plans of action, rather than talking about what's wrong.

You are changing the conversation from the problem to the solution.

Some complainers hate to have positive conversations.

When you change the focus of the complainers' conversation from the problem to talking about solutions, you will see complainers take one of two responses.

1. They will respond positively and will gladly talk about ways to improve the situation.

2. They will not respond positively and they will resist the invitation to improve the situation. They will try to keep on complaining by saying either; "I don't know what to do," or "There is nothing I can do".

In either case, they will avoid talking about plans for a better future and revert to complaining.

If they revert to complaining, then repeat the process.

  1. Listen for a while, then
  2. Empathise, then
  3. Ask them "What do you intend to do about it?"

After a few rounds, they will do one of two things,

  1. Stop complaining and talk about what can be done about it, or
  2. Leave you and go and find someone else to whom they can continue complaining; someone who won't keep asking them, "What are you going to do about it?"

Either way, you won't have to hear them complaining any more!

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About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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