Transforming Complaints

Frustrations are a normal part of life, but living in a state of frustration is exhausting. What is at the core of our dissatisfaction? How can we start to shift from this space into something new? That is what we discuss in this Design Yourself episode on transforming complaints.

 In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why honoring our complaints is a necessary starting point
  • Four moves a complainer can make to transform from complaint to request
  • Why trust is critical is coaching someone else to transform their complaint
  • Ways to build trust and rapport when you are on the receiving end of a complaint

Ideas Shared

4 Moves to Transform from Complaint to Request

  1. Mindset Shift: Behind every complaint is an unasked request. 
  2. Get Clear on What You Want: What might resolve the complaint? Be specific.
  3. Start with yourself: Success begets success. What is one thing you can do to start seeing positive momentum? What can you do? 
  4. Engage with others: What can others do? Communicate a request with specificity. 

Supporting Others to Transform their Complaint

  • Establish a foundation of trust. When you do not trust someone, you will not change their mind.
  • Listen to Understand. Be curious. Ask powerful questions.
  • Summarize What You Heard. Playback what is clear to you now. Stick to neutral, observable facts. Do not step into the role of problem solver or advisor.
  • Be Clear About the Path Forward. Co-create what comes next. If needed, draft a medium/long-term view of what a sketch of what your best thinking is on what will need to occur over time. Be specific about near-term actions.