Inatead of complaining about an employee, talk with them

Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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Let’s be honest: Sometimes complaining about a coworker feels good. But although it helps you release pent-up emotions, venting is a sideways move. In other words, we usually complain to a friend or colleague — and we rarely confront the person we’re complaining about.

So the next time you want to complain, try taking it to the source of the problem. For example, let’s say a co-worker yells in a meeting. Your first instinct might be to complain to another colleague about their brash behavior. Instead, take some time to calm down.

o Think about exactly what bothered you and what you want to complain about (it’s not OK to yell and disrespect others in a meeting).

o Decide what you can do to shift the person’s behavior or improve the situation (perhaps saying, “Please don’t shout in meetings — let’s respect each other in our conversations”). And then follow through by speaking to the person directly.

Adapted from “The Next Time You Want to Complain at Work, Do This Instead,” by Peter Bregman

Here’s a direct link to dozens of other Management Tips.



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