Recently, I listened to a fascinating audio book called A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen. The sub titles of this book are: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted AND Take the 21 Day Challenge!.
His 21 day challenge is to go 21 consecutive days without complaining, criticizing or gossiping. On his website www.AComplaintFreeWorld.org you can order a nifty purple bracelet to move from wrist to wrist every time you verbally complain, criticize or gossip. Every time you move the bracelet, you’re back to zero in your 21 days challenge! Thoughts don’t count. The way you say something is important, i.e. with anger vs. just calmly stating a fact. In the book, there are fun stories about the positive changes this made in people’s lives. (You can also use a rubber band or other item as a complaint free reminder.)
You may be wondering what this has to do with employee morale. When you make it through the 21 days complaint free, you qualify for a certificate of happiness. Is it becoming clearer? As Scott Hunter mentioned in a previous blog, you get what you focus on! When you complain, criticize or gossip, you are focusing on what you don’t want. And, guess what? That’s what you get – what you don’t want. Amazing!
When people stop complaining, criticizing and gossiping, they become happier AND so do the people around them. If a leader takes a stand to eliminate gossip, complaints and criticism from their organization, they will have employees with better morale and a more powerful organization. Encourage yourself and others to take responsibility, confront issues directly and take action rather than blame and be a victim.
There is an excellent chapter (13) inUnshackled Leadership by Scott Hunter with great insight and tips for handling complaints, criticism and gossip in a productive way. Start focusing on what you want, instead of what you don’t want. See what happens.
If you want to improve employee morale AND affect positive change in your life, take the challenge to be complaint free for 21 consecutive days. Encourage employees, friends and family to do so as well. Have fun! Enjoy the benefits!