Learn how to handle both types of gripers and complainers.
Have you ever had to deal with “those” people that find fault with everything?
How about those who seem unable to do anything on their own?
In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to diffuse both Gripers and Complainers so that you can worry less, and get back to teaching more.
So many articles I’ve read have a big “To Do” laundry list on the way to handle the ‘problem child.’ It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about a Griper, a Talk Hog, a Resenter, or a Complainer…it’s the same old thing…’here are the top 10 steps to handle them.’
But before I do that, I need to let you in on an important nugget…THE ONLY WAY TO HANDLE ANY ‘PROBLEM’ IS FIRST TO IDENTIFY THE MOTIVATION BEHIND IT.
The first step is to figure out WHY individuals are behaving the way they are.
Then, the interventions and techniques I’m going to give you can be applied again and again. You can be just like the expert fisherman that already knows where to look for the fish.
The first misconception is that most presenters, trainers, and teachers lump all Gripers/Complainers into the same category.
Do you remember why we said that wouldn’t work?
That’s right… because each type of Griper has a different motivation.
Here’s what you REALLY need to know: Gripers/Complainers have two primary motivations – both of which are quite different and unique to that individual.
The first type of Griper tends to have a ‘LEARNED HELPLESSNESS’ issue and they are motivated by fear manifested from having been discouraged over and over in their lives. They have learned through this discouragement they are helpless and unable to do things on their own.
The second type is the ‘FAULT FINDERS.’ They have a primary motivation of frustration as they find fault and often express concerns about a situation. They feel that something is not working with the training they are receiving or the way in which things are being presented to them.
How to Identify the Types of Gripers & Complainers
Regardless of which type you have on your hands, there is a common way to identify them both. They often start their sentences with, “Yeah, but…” The first thing to do with this is identify YOUR feelings about their motivation.
Every griper or complainer will make you feel one of three things: Despair, Pity, or Annoyance.
Which one do you feel?
That will be your first clue.
This may look to you like criticism, complaints, or a ‘woe is me’ attitude.
Which one do you see?
Once you know how you feel, don’t let your feelings handle you.
Instead, HANDLE THE GRIPER BY HANDLING YOURSELF.
Here’s how to do it…
The ‘Learned Helplessness’ type is looking for pity.
DON’T give it to them.
This may be very counter-intuitive to you.
You may want to tell them that you understand how “awful” they have it, and can relate to their “woe is me” attitude.
Don’t do it!
Instead of enabling them, show them that they CAN and WILL be able to do this…ON THEIR OWN.
Use body language and tone that clearly indicates that they will achieve this.
What about the ‘Fault Finder,’ the one that likes to find fault and express concern about every situation?
The solution here is: Ground Rules through BOUNDARIES.
I’m not talking about expectations. Expectations tell someone what THEY should do. Boundaries tell someone what YOU will do – BIG difference.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot control other people. (Somebody should have told Ferris Bueller’s teacher that).
You can only control what YOU do.
Try this: the next time a “fault finding” griper voices a concern at an inopportune time, state your boundary.
For example, “I will write down and address any concerns you have from 8:45 – 9:15,” or “I’ll start teaching again when everybody’s quiet.”
If I had to give one tool to help you instantly see for yourself the basic techniques that you could use to get started handling key challenges with your audience or classroom, I would recommend a free tour of my Rule the Room Train the Trainer Lab.
There, you will find a program called: Serenity.
It is loaded with techniques which I personally model for you on how to handle the toughest audiences, trainees, or students.
I even model how to get THEM to thank you in the end.