Every business has a few employees who can be draining to manage. They are the ones who have opposing views regardless of the message and assert themselves as skeptics even when the cause is good. These employees resist any change. They designate themselves as the only ones who are willing to speak up even when those whom they claim to be speaking for don’t share their opinions. This constant resistance can be frustrating and if ignored will ultimately cause strife within business teams.
When tension exists in business relationships, it’s obvious to everyone. People will naturally start choosing sides and judging each other. Your teams will feel divided rather than unified. It can be easy in these situations to deal with them in one of two ways:
Option 1: Write-up or fire the complainers. Since these divisions would not exist if there were not complainers, simply get rid of the culprit.
Option 2: Avoid the complainers and encourage others to disregard their comments. Since the complainer never adds anything positive stop including them in the meetings and make decisions without them. Simultaneously, make sure that no one else feels discouraged or frustrated by the complainer’s disruptive behavior.
While both of these options have some merit in their reasoning, there is a third option that often is overlooked that could probably yield long-term benefits for everyone. The third option is a revamped perspective.
Complainers spend a great deal of their time looking for loopholes, mistakes or oversights in new ideas or processes. Use their focus to your advantage.
Option 3: Start looking at complainers as quality control. If there’s an issue to be found this person will find it and then you can address it when it’s a small issue rather than something larger.
Complainers always think that their way of doing something is best. Use this to your advantage by involving them in projects in the development phase. Ask them to contribute ideas and suggestions. By getting complainers involved behind the scenes, you lessen the likelihood of their complaints in the public sector.
Complainers feel like they speak for everyone even, yet they never solicit opinions from others. Use this to your advantage. Put complainers in focus groups and have them conduct fact-gathering interviews with others. Give them a chance to hear for themselves what people think and why. This exposure might help tame some of their own opinions while also broadening their perspectives.
By changing the way you use the skills of complainers you can strengthen how you operate. If you can turn their tendencies into beneficial contributions to the company then you are better off. When this is done successfully, it can turn your complainers into your greatest advocates.