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Team Development Training in Denver – 3 Steps to rid your workplace of whiners

We’ve all been there. We are sure we are doing our part to create a great team and a positive work environment. Then along come “those people” who consistently complain, whine, gossip and undermine the workplace. What to do? Here are three steps to rid the workplace of whiners.

  1. Check yourself first. It’s easy to point the finger at others who are complaining, but how often do you find yourself complaining or talking about others behind their backs? Do this test – keep a notepad for one day at work and carry it with you. Make a mark for every time you complain, talk about someone negatively instead of to them, or point out that something isn’t working without either pointing out something that IS working or offering a solution. If you are like many, you may be surprised by how many marks you have at the end of the day.

Make a commitment to yourself to bring down your level of complaining. We all   need to vent, just don’t do it with work colleagues.  Take it to a friend or family  member who is a good ear for you so that you can get your frustration out of your  system without negatively impacting the work environment. When you are done venting, challenge yourself to look for your part in the upset or difficult situation,  and ask yourself of others what you can do to be part of the solution.

  1. Get agreement and alignment with the team

 You have to get agreement with your team members as to what is and is not OK in terms of venting, complaining and gossiping. This is the only way that you will be able to give each other feedback and hold each other accountable to creating the kind of workplace you want.

Here are some things you may want to consider coming to agreement on with your team.

a. What kind of workplace or team culture are we COMMITTED to creating? That means that you are willing to do the work ongoingly to create the kind of team you want. Come up with a team charter, “mission” statement or statement of commitment that everyone can get behind.

b. What does gossip mean? Are we willing to take a stand to not talk ABOUT each other?  Are will willing to give each other feedback when someone does gossip?

c. How are you going to deal with complaining? If someone has a complaint do they need to also offer a solution? How are you going to balance out positive feedback with negative feedback?

 d. The most important thing you need to agree to is giving each other feedback. Once you get agreement and commitment from the team on norms around complaints, venting and gossiping, you MUST hold each other accountable. The most effective teams give team members frequent positive AND constructive feedback. Feedback is seen as an opportunity and not taken personally. This is something to strive for and we work on this further in our Five Dysfunctions of a Team training.

Check-in on an ongoing basis

Once you are; a. committed to creating a more positive, product team b. have agreement with the team and 3. you are committed to giving each other feedback in order to create the team you want, then you need to check-in during weekly meetings to see how things are going.

Ask how people are doing with the new agreements. Solicit positive examples and places where people have been challenges. See if the agreements or “team mission” need revising. The only way change takes place is over time with focus, attention and consistent effort.

We work with teams in the Denver area on creating a positive workplace culture, proactive communication and feedback and implement the Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Please contact us if we can be of service with Team Development Training in Denver.

Jeannie Gunter, MA

Jeannie Gunter, MA

Founder, Transformative Solutions

303 653-3097

Jeannie works with a wide variety of clients to help them increase their team effectiveness and leadership capacity in their teams. She has worked both nationally and internationally as an organizational consultant, facilitator, speaker and wilderness guide.

With a strong background in group dynamics, over the past 20 years Jeannie has guided hundreds of teams in a wide variety of organizations to successful outcomes in team, personal and professional development.

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