By Jeff Kortes, President, Human Asset Management LLC
As I was reading “The Ten Commandments of Baseball, Principles for Success in Baseball (and Life),” there was a compelling story about one person’s experiences during the Great Depression. It reminded me of the pictures of the Great Depression I have seen of the long lines of unemployed and how truly grim it was.
Then I thought about a two of my colleagues who have been out of work for well over a year. Both are incredible professionals with stellar track records of success in their fields. I was unemployed for 11 months in the big recession in 1981….it was horrible! The thing that amazes me about both of my colleagues is that I have NEVER heard either of them whine about it. They keep driving on…they refuse to quit. I venture to say most of us have friends or family out there right now who are in the same boat and respond the same way.
That’s why I have the deepest admiration for people like my two colleagues and other people who suck it up, never whine, and keep moving forward. For that reason, it drives me crazy when I think about people in organizations where I used to work who whined about everything when I was in a Human Resources leadership role.
In your role as a leader in your organization you need to constructively confront those people…but more importantly…you need to keep on doing it AFTER things turn around and your organization is making money again. You need to have a comprehensive long-term strategy to create a “No Whine Zone” in your organization. If you only say it once when you are irritated, the whiners will blow it off, and they will never learn from a one-time comment. It takes a concerted, well-thought-out strategy to create a culture where whining is not acceptable.
Although discussions like this are not pure “training,” you need to look for opportunities to create discussion to teach people lessons they will learn from and grow. At the least, you need to make them aware so they are potentially more receptive to professional growth in the future. Opportunities like this are out there…you simply need to look for them and capitalize on them to drive learning in your environment.
Jeff Kortes is known as the “No Nonsense Guy.” He is the president of Human Asset Management LLC, a human resource consulting firm specializing in executive search, building retention, and leadership training. He has trained hundreds of first-line supervisors, managers, and executives during his career. His approach to training is no-nonsense, and practical. Kortes is also a member of the National Speakers Association and a regular speaker on the topics of retention and developing a high-performance work culture. For more information, visit http://www.slugproofyourteam.com.