The employee responded with surprise, “I actually do have a couple ideas” and a totally different conversation ensued.
It would have been easy for the supervisor to become defensive. Instead he was open to the complaint and asked for suggestions. Taking this position, the employee either had to provide ideas or leave it alone if he was merely venting.
We may feel pressured to listen to complainers because we don’t want to appear rude or callous. Some complainers just like to complain, if you let them, they will.
But we should be open to complaints. They can be healthy for an organization. They can uncover problems, promote new ways of doing things and increase morale and productivity.
Running a company is more art than science. Taking the time to listen and learn from your employees can be key to your success. Remember to keep communication open: “I hear you. What do you suggest?”
The road is easier together,