In work, as in life, there are 2 types of people:1. Those who know they can
2. Those who pretend they can't
...these groups are one-in-the-same. The two groups are separated however by a few simple human characteristics. We tend to be dramatically complex about our professional existence: we want grandiose applause when we succeed and will go to great depths to explain what is wrong with everyone else when we fail.
There is so much made about the four generations in the workplace at present. We are over-hauling organizational development to accommodate the new kids and strategically measuring the knowledge share of the old guard. There are, however, great similarities in all generations:
- We all complain (with good intentions)
- We all care...a lot
- We are all in this together
Don't Make a Good Thing...Bad
I don't know anyone who is good at failing. No one likes to lose. When things change in the workplace we tend to freak out and that may provoke us to verbalize our uncertainty. When we verbalize our uncertainty it sounds a heck of a lot like complaining.
I have found that those who complain actually care a lot about their job. They may have been a top performer at some point (and they will remind you of that). They probably put in long hours and they are most certainly misunderstood.
Our every accomplishment will not be recognized. There will be days when nothing goes right. Your hard work and supreme intelligence may go unnoticed. Your single-handed victory of a 10 million dollar acquisition may be promoted as a "team effort".
As unfair as the aforementioned occurrences may be to your tender ego, they produce one great certainty:
Complaining only makes it worse!
I remember being the hardest worker in a 20,000 employee organization. I was in the office early, left late, was the first to adopt new initiatives, always took on extra work, and consistently produced results.....so what's the problem?
Beneath it all, my effort was directed by my personal career path. I acted like I cared for the greater good of the organization, but I really only cared about myself. My need for recognition of my effort revealed my real intentions and people saw through me.
Over the years, I have accepted that if you do quality work, people will notice.
My daughter was born on my Dad's 70th Birthday. They are separated by 4 generations and I love them both! When you were born is not important to me. Your effort and intentions are what matter.
You may think you are speaking for the group when you complain to the boss, but they are laughing at you behind your back.
You may think you have great ideas to share, but sign your employee handbook before you take over the organization.
We all have the ability to be a pain in the ass. It takes great effort! That effort is fueled by good intentions. Yes, your complaints are really based in your desire to make things better....this is an act of kindness.
Don't Forget to Remember!