Symptoms Vs. Cause

Driving in this morning I thought about a recent conversation with a former co-worker.  The topic: how to handle co-workers that are gossiping, griping, and complaining.  Yes – this is what adulthood looks like.  Thinking about mundane managerial topics. What happened to me?  I used to be cool…see below.


Dave Ramsey offers a unique perspective on this.  Gossip once = warning. Gossip twice = you’re fired.  Not sure I’m ready for that yet.

Looking back on that conversation, I think most of the bad advice I was spouting was an attempt to treat the symptoms, not the cause.  Possible “causes” of this behavior might be:

* Frustration with rapid change and lack of formalized structure
* Feeling like they don’t have a stake in process
* Different expectations of how they want to be managed vs. are being managed
* Bad management
* Different character traits – they value/see the world differently
* Professional immaturity

Possible treatments for each requires a different approach.  1 – 3 requires listening; asking lots of questions to learn where they’re coming from, instead of preaching here’s what you need to do.  Number 4 is your own fault. Number 5 – getting the entire company to take one of the StrengthsFinder tests or something similar could help here.  #6 is when you’ve ruled everything else out and it’s time to move on.

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