10 Things To Do Instead of Complain

I’ve said before that choosing gratefulness is our organization’s unofficial official theme for 2015. It’s a mindset that my family and I have been intentional about choosing in the aftermath of our loss. But, we shouldn’t wait for a life-altering event to occur before we focus on being grateful.

Gratefulness probably won’t appear on any ranking of “Top leadership traits of successful CEOs” (or COOs, or CFOs, or directors, or managers, or line workers, for that matter). But I’m finding that it is a highly overlooked and undervalued characteristic of successful leaders at every level.

Do you struggle with negativity, complaining, or dwelling on what’s not right? Here are 10 habits you can start forming today that will improve you outlook and attitude, and consequently, the outlook and attitudes of those you influence.

  1. Focus on the progress. You want your employee to move 12 inches, and so far they’ve only moved six. Don’t dwell on their lack of progress – highlight the fact that they’ve moved six inches. They’re halfway there!
  2. Do something kind for someone else. Stop focusing on yourself, and turn your focus to helping someone else.
  3. Count your blessings. There is always, always, always something to be grateful for. Clean water, healthy food, safe warm homes…just these basics are things that millions and millions of people in this world do not have and that most of us take for granted.
  4. Take action. What have you done to fix it? Complaining to your boss or co-workers doesn’t count. Be honest with yourself. What are you really doing to fix the problem? And what attitude are you doing it with?
  5. Encourage someone else. You’re not the only one struggling. How do you want to be encouraged? Pass that encouragement on.
  6. Give some grace. You want the benefit of the doubt from your leader. Give your team the same.
  7. Don’t say anything. If it’s petty, whiny, or just pointless negativity, do yourself and your team a favor and keep it to yourself. We really don’t have to voice every negative thought that comes to mind.
  8. Serve someone else. Don’t worry about whether they deserve it or whether they’ve earned the right to be a beneficiary of your time or expertise. Just serve.
  9. Apologize and forgive. That anger or hurt that you’re harboring – at your boss, your teammate, your employee, or your friend – it’s just not worth it. Apologize for any hurt or misunderstanding you’ve caused, and genuinely forgive them (whether they apologize or not.)
  10. Create your own change. It only takes one person with a positive attitude to build positive momentum. Why not you?

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