A Remedy for Complaining

The No Complaining Rule


Complaints can drag us down because they rarely come with a solution. Leaders need to know what to do when complaints come up so that they don’t become a distraction. Jon Gordon, speaker, author and founder of The Jon Gordon Companies, teaches leaders one way to navigate complaints. 

Jon Gordon is a speaker, author and founder of The Jon Gordon Companies a consulting company that is passionate about developing positive leaders, organizations and teams. He has written The No Complaining RuleTraining CampThe Shark and The GoldfishSoupThe SeedThe Positive Dog, and Wall Street Journal bestseller The Energy Bus



Jon spoke about a company that issued a “no complaining rule.” The rule stated that no one could come forward with a complaint unless they also offered a solution. Once a quarter, management would listen to the complaints and solutions, evaluate them, and implement the best ones. As a result, employees felt heard and empowered. 

Jon began by saying leaders don’t complain, they focus on solutions. How would you say you’re doing in this area? Where do you see room for growth?
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Jon compared mindless complaining to vomit—it is toxic to organizations. How have you seen the dangers of complaining in your work experience?
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What do you do when an employee approaches you with a complaint? How do you discern when to take a complaint seriously or when to disregard it?
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Do you have something similar to the “no complaining rule” in your organization? If so, how has it benefited the company and your employees? If not, what might it look like to implement the rule or something similar?
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The biggest win for the company that used the “no complaining rule” was how empowered the employees felt. How could you empower your team to be a part of problem solving when they come forward with complaints?
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This week, what could you do to manage complaints around the office? How could you hear your employees and move them toward a solution?
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Complaints can be toxic to an organization if not handled properly. Evaluate how your organization deals with complaints this week. Consider using the “no complaining rule” or another rule like it to bring about solutions to problems that arise. Above all else, ensure your employees feel heard.  


Hear more from Jon Gordon in the course Contagious Leadership.