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Coaching Approach to Dealing with Complaints – So What Do You Want?

A person complains an average of 15-30 times a day. Before naming a person as a complainer, it would be correct to understand the psychology of complaining. Complaining creates a psychologically relaxing ‘feel good’ effect for the complainant. One of the basic needs for people is the desire to connect with others. People use complaining to actually build intimacy. For example, in the elevator, we look for a way to communicate with people we do not know, and for this, many of us talk about how hot or cold the weather is, that is, we complain. We talk about the flight being late at the airport to communicate with the stranger next to us. Complaints also serve as a basis for us to create a bond with the person we want to communicate with – building solidarity.


Without exception, there are believers in every workplace who complain about something, right? People who cannot find the peace they seek at work, those who are under the influence of their negative inner voices and who play the role of “victim”. So these people look like this from the outside. These people tell you, one by one, which department made a mistake, which manager made wrong decisions, could not manage, how company leaders made wrong decisions and how they managed ineffectively, from their own perspectives. They make good use of coffee breaks, lunches, meetings, and one-on-one conversations, and fill the atmosphere of the company’s culture with toxic chemical clouds of emotion.

It nourishes and enlarges the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness in terms of the feelings it carries and spreads. These feelings are contagious, just like yawning. I’m sure everyone has experienced this in their career. Even if we don’t, we are exposed. So how is it possible to look at the “complaint” point of view from the other side as an opportunity for “satisfaction”?


This area definitely comes up for me in my mentors that I coach. Some people are so caught up in complaining that they seem to be enslaved by negative emotions. In fact, they complain about themselves without realizing it, they see their own shortcomings and what they cannot do. Of course, we can also call it specialization.
No matter how negative and negative the “complaint” may be, it is actually a need for some people. It is also possible to approach him constructively from the positive side, because the complaint has great value, and when you see the potential of the complaint or make the other person see it, then the change begins. A husband actually makes one see this.
When I look at the issue from the coaching approach; Although realizing “what is missing” is actually a special talent, a negative behavior, everything changes depending on how you look at it. People may not know how to turn these abilities into a positive and positive side, and because they do not know how to express this, they may be labeled as “complaining”, “complainant”, at work or in their private lives.
Yes, the complainant is disliked, it is not expected and desired behavior, especially in the work environment, these people are not wanted because they emit toxic energy. It is possible to help both those who complain and those who are exposed to complaints with a coaching approach.
First of all, you can help these people by looking at them as “people who want things to be different, to be done differently”, not from the point of view of “complaining, unwanted person”. Companies that understand the value of the complaint are able to truly heal and develop themselves. This is why Complaints Management is an important concept. Complaint or you can call it feedback if you want, it is also perceived as a gift in some cultures because when you give feedback or “complain” to someone about something that you think is not right, you are actually giving them a very valuable opportunity – you are holding up a mirror – you are making them see themselves and help them change. You are giving your opportunity. Complaints are that valuable, yes – from where you look is also very important.
When the complainant is approached from this point of view, you can clear the complaint from ‘negativity and negativity’ and focus the person’s energy on ‘expressing wishes’. This will also enable the person to focus on the solution on the issue that he or she sees incomplete and wants to change.

When you’re a good listener, it’s not hard to see the formula that will bring out the desires between the lines of the judgment, evaluation, reproach, or opinion that is the subject of a complaint. It is very practical to be able to do this in daily life. “What is your wish?” The question has a very effective and calming power. If you remember, what effect does it have on the other side when the genie in Aladdin’s Magic Lamp says this

The energy and power of turning the complaint into a request pushes the complainant to think about it and take responsibility for the problem in order to find a solution instead of just voicing it.
The main purpose is not to offer a solution to the person’s complaint, but to enable him to take responsibility and guide the solution. Because as you suggest a solution, you may also be complaining about your solutions, such as ‘we haven’t tried it before’, ‘no way’, because instead of giving the complainant other areas to complain about, it is the wisest thing to ask questions directly. Other strong questions might include:

  • What exactly do you want from me?
  • How can you produce a solution?
  • What can you do in this situation?
  • Where can you start to step up?
  • Who can help you with this?
  • How can I help you?

So what kind of request is it to ask the person to “stop complaining”? It will not be enough to ask a person who is unaware of the effect that the complaint has made on himself, his colleagues and the company, to stop the action he has made, and it may have the opposite effect, that is, he may replace the undesirable behavior with another undesirable behavior. Instead, it would be best to be more specific and ask him to “turn the complaint into a request”.
Be the one to complain or when you are asked to turn your complaint into a request, remember that each request will have 4 different answers.

Yes: Make a request without waiting for this response
No: A clear answer at least. You should think again and generate new alternative requests.
Counter offer: This will lay the groundwork for a mutually common solution and you are on the right track.
I’ll research this topic and get back to it: Keep following.

In a society, when there is a culture in which individuals communicate their wishes to each other with viable counter-offers on complaints, the environment of ‘carelessness’ will be replaced by the ‘possible alternative solution’ environment.

How do you feel when someone comes to you with a list of complaints?
How do you approach it when it’s replaced with a wish list?

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