If you go to people to share a problem without sharing an idea as to how the problem might be solved, you’re just complaining. Even if you don’t mean to be negative, you are. And the more you talk about the problem without also talking about what you intend to do about it, the more negative you become. It doesn’t matter if that’s not your intention; it’s a fact. You’re carrying the infection. And you’re spreading the infection to others.
It’s easy enough not be negative.
Follow up your sharing of a problem or challenge with three or four ideas of how things might be made better. That easily changes what’s officially called a “bitch session” into something more useful, like a brainstorming session. Or a planning meeting. Or a massive improvement project. Or a revolution. If you’re really good at it it might turn into something even better than that, like consensusbuilding around changing things for the better.
Once you have ideas, there’s no longer any reason to sit around complaining. Now you can start taking action. You can sell your ideas to your peers and build consensus. You can sell your ideas to your management or leadership group. You can outline the initiative, develop a way to prove your concept, and you can develop an unsophisticated return on investment (even if that investment is only time).
Without an idea, you’re just complaining. Without an idea, there’s no action. And there’s no improvement. Instead, you simply become another carrier of the only cancer that spreads by contact: negativity.
Don’t complain. Generate ideas. Plan. Scheme. Take action.
Subscribe to my weekly podcast In the Arena.