Chronic complainers can kill morale, hurt productivity and drive you nuts. Linda Swindling, author of Stop Complainers and Energy Drainers, identifies five types of complaining bosses and explains how to handle them:
- The whiner. She wants to make a connection and get some empathy. Listen a little, empathize and then ask what solutions she has in mind.
- The complicator. He’s seeking calm and stability and may appear as a micromanager. Recognize his expertise, slow down your approach and offer him suggestions to advance a project.
- The prima donna. She wants attention and recognition. Help her get positive recognition and look good to others.
- The controller. He wants to take action and make accomplishments. Be assertive, stand your ground and demonstrate progress without being aggressive.
- The toxic. She’s seeking to further a self-absorbed agenda. Protect yourself from possible retaliation by keeping records, seeking help from a trusted advisor and transferring to another team as soon as possible.
— Adapted from “Interview: Dealing with Complainers Who Sap Workplace Productivity,” Anita Bruzzese, Intuit’s The Fast Track blog.