No Complaining? Sign Me Up!

I need this sign some days.

Daniel Decker’s blog post about no complaining in the office has me thinking  about how much I complain and how much I hear various people complain.  Of course this is not limited to the office.  It’s at home, while out running errands, while visiting others, everywhere.

What makes it worse is when the complaining is partnered with either the whiny voice, the martyr voice, or the self-righteous voice.  All of which are equally bad, but the whiny voice drives me up the wall (just ask my daughters!).

Why do people complain?  Maybe because they want to tell someone about how they were wronged (or how they wronged someone else); maybe because something is not quite right in their life; maybe they just want to talk to someone and complaining is the only way they know to get someone to listen.

The problem is that complaining for the sake of complaining is just not productive.  How many hours do you lose over the course of a month listening to a co-worker complain about something that you could either do nothing about, or something that if they would actually do their job there wouldn’t be an issue?  Or better yet, if they would use the time to fix the problem that they spent complaining, the problem would be gone?  Time spent complaining is less time that you have to work, less time you have with your family, less time you have doing the things that mean something to you.  Of course the reverse is true.  The time you spend complaining keeps you from fixing the problem as well and being a productive employee.

I know you can’t police everyone’s speech.  It’s not fair and it’s not right.  However, you can monitor your own.  This isn’t to say you have to be Miss Mary Sunshine all the time, but at least think about what is coming out of your mouth.  Think about the time you are spending complaining.  Think about how you may be keeping others from doing something they want/need to do.

Does your office need a no complaining rule?  Maybe, if the complaining is out of control and it has manage to infect every area of your business.  But I think it can be dealt with on a person by person basis if people would just be more conscious of what they are doing.  I am going to try and do my part by watching how much I complain.

Thoughts?  How can you reduce the amount of complaining you do or that others do to you?

See Daniel’s original post here: http://www.danieldecker.net/does-your-office-need-a-no-complaining-rule/

A Prayer to Accept Change

Just when I thought I had it all figured out, Lord, things change again.

When will I be able to rest in the comfort of knowing what comes next?

 

You, who transcend all time,

who created the stars and set them in place,

you, who are ageless yet known in every age,

grant me the grace to accept the

changes that are happening.

 

Empty my heart of anxiety,

and fill it instead with wonder and awe.

Release me from the chains of complacency,

and bind me to your ever-moving Spirit.

 

When the things I believed to be permanent and stable are left by the way side,

enfold me in your undying love that I may remember in whom all things are

bound.

 

When fear of something new paralyzes me,

And grief cripples me with anger over the loss of what had been,

Send your angels to give me a gentle push over that frightening edge into the unknown,

So that I may learn to trust in you.

 

For you alone are eternal.

You alone are enduring.

You alone are the everlasting Lord.

And in you alone will this restless world find peace.

Amen

-Diana Macalintal (2010)

This was read the other night at church, and it was especially appropriate since we are in the midst of much change – the New Roman Missal is due to be released in November, we are undergoing diocesean strategic planning, plus our parish will be beginning strategic planning in the next few months.  Our parish needs to have the strength to make some difficult decisions and still remain true to our core.  We are a parish with a great sense of community that can only get stronger.  We have undergone a lot of change in the last 15 years – not because chose to, but because the situation forced us to.

At every turn, change is upon us – no matter if it is at church, at home, or at work.  Change can be uncomfortable, and it may make people leave because they are unwilling or unable to change.  It boils down to how the leadership of the organization approaches change.  Are they willing to undertake the journey with the group, or do they subliminally set up roadblocks or give the impression they don’t want to change?  If the leadership is willing, change will come and the journey will be a lot easier than if leadership gives the impression that the change is unwelcome.   As Father Jason said tonight, “I can’t make the decision for the parish, but I can walk along with you during the journey.”  That’s what is required of leaders – to walk the journey.

Are you the miracle?

“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.”
— Phillips Brooks

I often pray to get through the day.  To have my tasks go easier, to get through my current project (whether that be at home or work), to have patience.  I pray to be enough to everyone – enough of a mom, enough of a wife, enough of an employee.  I don’t often pray to be more.

I just want to make people happy.  If that means that I have to work harder, or longer, or learn something in order to complete a task, I will.  I don’t want anyone to doubt my dedication to the task at hand.  Sure, I get distracted, but those incomplete projects stay with me until I finish them….like a itch you just can’t scratch – always there, just out of reach until you say “Enough already!  I’ll finish you!”.

I want to be the miracle – not my work product.  It’s already enough of a miracle that I am teaching myself things everyday; that I am following through with things and completing projects; that I have the time to do a project.  I want people to say at the end of my life that I was the one that was miraculous.

Maybe I can show that by being graceful, not just grateful.  I need to seek grace throughout the course of my day.  I need to see it in the smiles of my daughters when I pick them up…daughters I never thought I’d have.  I need to see it in the eyes of my husband when he comes home and the dishes are done (even though I have worked all day as well), supper is on the stove, and no one is fighting.  I need to see it in the projects that frustrate me.  I need to be grateful for the things I have, and see the grace in what I have been given; not see the things I don’t have and want them.

It never hurts to try to be better and to ask for the help needed to be better. 

Are you the miracle, or is the work you do the miracle?

 

Culture and Work

Can You Fix Culture?.

The above is a link to a great article by Chris LoCurto, who is part of Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership team.  This is especially important to me because we are trying to change the culture my workplace now.  It’s going to take a while, but nothing great was ever done overnight.

A presenter I listened to once said “Culture is the sum of the behaviors you allow.”  How very true.  If you allow some people to come in late, leave early, gossip, not pull their weight, how can you expect the others to toe the line?

I used to work for a place that the culture was so ingrained that you could almost consider it a cult.  People lived, ate, and breathed this company.  Was it bad? No.  Was it pervasive throughout the organization?  Yep.  Was it hard to have a life outside work? Yes, especially if you had my boss.  However, I can honestly say that each and every employee knew what was expected of them, how they were supposed to act, and what was important to the company.  You could also tell those who weren’t going to be around very long – they just couldn’t get the culture.

What behaviors are allowed at your place that negatively or positively affect the culture?