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The No Complaining Rule

I'm a big believer in the concept that complaining is a mistake in almost every setting.  As I noted when I pointed out to the missionaries that no one could see their display (while offering them a sharpie pen to trace over the outline so it would be readable), I'm not going to point out a problem without offering a solution.

In job searches, I very much subscribe to never, ever, complaining about current or past employers.  Ask the Headhunter points out that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is ever complaining. Nick A. Corcodilos teaches a lot of things (otherwise I could summarize the book in a page or two and no one would ever need it or find any value in his free newsletter), but he never varies on the no complaining rule.

As a result, I was excited to see The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work by Jon Gordon.  It covers a philosophy I believe in and is from a publisher I like.

But the book seemed too short to me -- as if it needed another hundred pages.  I did not want to write a negative review until I could think of a solution.  Then a manager I know borrowed it.  They had a problem with a complainer, and no time to read anything longer than Gordon's book.  The book has been "checked out" constantly since then -- all by people who would not have touched it, would not have read it, if the book had been longer.

That link above will take you to the Amazon.com site for the book -- which includes three videos of the author, eleven (or more) very positive reviews of the book, and a number of essays and other material.

The bottom line is that the book communicates how to move a culture or an individual that is poisoned by complaining to one that is free of it.  It is one thing to have feedback, input, correction and advice.  It is another to have complaining -- carping about problems as an end rather than as a starting place for solutions.  .

As Gordon says "The goal of this book is not to eliminate all complaining, just mindless, chronic complaining. And the bigger goal is to turn justified complaints into positive solutions. After all, every complaint represents an opportunity to turn something negative into a positive."

Easy to read, concise and to the point, the book is a good start if you are faced with a toxic environment dominated by complaining and hope to turn it, or yourself, around.

Link to inside the book The illustration will let you look inside the book, read some, explore some and get a better idea of what it is about.  Available from Amazon.com in hardback or audio book for less than fourteen dollars.

See also this essay by Jon Gordon

Caveats * Copyright 2008 Stephen R. Marsh * Terms of use * Old Blog Materials

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