The Mark of Maturity

If you have kids, or have been around them for more than 5 minutes, you will be very familiar with one common trait, the whine - the seemingly endless stream of complaints and injustices forced upon these tiny humans. Too hot! Too cold! Hungry! Tired! Want a toy! It can be...challenging...to say the least. It’s great when we become adults and grow out of that whining, isn’t it?

But do we? Do we really grow out of whining? Or do we call it something else? Complaining? Griping? Objecting? Processing? I know, for me, that tendency is always there - most often only unleashed on my husband or sisters, thankfully. But what does it look like in the workplace? And what does it sound like to your entrepreneur when faced with a problem?

Every whiny kid has the potential to become a whiny - or immature - adult, but there is a key choice we can make that turns the corner from that immature reaction to an stressful situation to a mature one: Present the problem with a possible solution. Instead of saying, “We’re out of milk,” say “We’re out of milk AND I added it to the grocery list to get tomorrow.” By making this small change in everyday situations, our reactions to problems or stressors in business will change. So, “Our credit card bill was lost in the mail and we’re late on a payment” can become “Our credit card bill was lost in the mail and we’re late on a payment, so I called the company, explained the situation and they’ve granted an extension.”

A wise woman (Tina Fey) once said, "Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don't just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles." There is a time and a place for questions and problem-solving, but activators need to be focused on the solution when it comes to working it through with your entrepreneur. Most entrepreneurs are going to have their sights set on bigger things, or issues that are a few steps beyond whatever issue you are bringing to them. Take those steps for them and close the gap - they will thank you for it.

I know this sounds simple. I know we all like to think we do this when we’re faced with a problem. After all, who wants to sound like a whiny adult? The truth is, it’s not our natural inclination to do it, especially when under stress or feeling shame because of a mistake we have made. It takes training, and it takes work, but you will mark your life and your success as a right hand (and, let’s be honest, as a HUMAN) from the time before and the time after you made the choice to become part of the solution.

 

Beth Dekker