THE COMPLAINT DISEASE
Have you ever seen a person with a lot of clothes on and they made you hot just looking at them? The same premise applies to poor leaders and co-workers. Try as you might, over time you find yourself inundated with their work ethic, their behaviors and their thoughts. “Dengue”, a mosquito-borne viral disease, is considered the most rapidly spread. On top of that, this sickness is deadly. However I’d counsel those scientists and scholars to visit a workplace with the disease of mediocrity and ask the members when they contracted it and how fast did it spread to others.
I’m a very driven and competitive person. I’m 90% Type A and the other 10% is Type B. This subject is important to me because I’ve experienced mediocrity firsthand. When I enter a new work environment, I dissect it so that I can find the best way to make a positive, immediate impact. The problem with the Type A in me is the impatience. I like people to move as I do and have the same drive. This often isn’t the case. A growing number of people in work environments have PHD’s in covering their hind quarters while the others are working on their Master in going with the flow. Naturally, not being this kind of person, the resentment you harbor towards the other people is great. At times I even found myself complaining and going through the motions when this isn’t my nature. I’ve come up with a few ways to combat this highly contagious disease that I’m sure will help you.
Immunize Yourself With….
In the medical world, doctors advise we stay vaccinated to aid our bodies in diseases out there that will come. The same goes with mediocrity. You need to “immunize” yourself with motivational things (quotes, books, people, etc.) What you surround yourself with or what you entertain is a very good marker of what you’ll become.
Use Elements of Type A To Continually Test “Negative”
A characteristic of Type A’s is for people to get to the point. However, the biggest detractor of Type A’s is their lack of tact when getting someone to that point. There’s a way to end a conversation while making the other person feel like they ended it. How? Platitudes. Yes, I hate them too but they’re highly effective in keeping the disease at bay.
(Ex. The word, “absolutely”. Consider this scenario: A co-worker comes up to you complaining about their workload, the leadership or another issue. You then hit them with “absolutely”. This has a two-pronged effect. First, they believe you agree completely with what they’re saying. They feel heard and when someone feels heard, they generally don’t need to talk anymore. Second, in your mind you could be thinking, “I really don’t care what you’re talking about, besides, it’s not that bad anyway, and stop whining!” The co-worker never knows this and you’ve averted a hostile work environment while keeping your health intact with just one word!)
The Best Defense…
You know the conclusion of that quote. What I’ve done is be the example or change I wished to see in any workplace I enter. If I’m around complainers, I speak gratitude and positivity. This deters them from being their usual selves because when they approach me, they know they have to come in a certain manner. It will work for you too, try it!
Sure there was a lot of satire in this, but this is a serious issue. People have stayed in entry-level positions, missed opportunities or been removed from them because of their own mediocrity. It’s time to do some personal inventory and ask ourselves, “Is the reason I’m not where I want to be professionally, personally or what have you, because of me?”
Think about it.