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July 9, 2008

News & Opinion: The No Complaining Rule

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 3:54 PM – Filed under: Personal Development & Human Behavior

When I first saw the title "The No Complaining Rule" I had flashbacks to family road trips to "up north" Wisconsin, full of truly Ollie Hopnoodle-esque moments. But the title refers to a new business book about positivity: The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work by Jon Gordon, who also wrote The Energy Bus.
The No Complaining Rule is constructed like a parable, with anecdotes that build to a point at which the fictional workplace develops "an actionable plan to win the battle against individual and organizational negativity."

The characters sprinkle in insights and hard facts to support their case for a no complaining rule. For instance, the Cost of Negativity:
  • Negativity costs the U.S. economy between $250 to $300 billion every year in lost productivity, according to the Gallup Organization. And this number is conservative since it doesn't take into account the ripple effect of complaining and negativity.

  • Ninety percent of doctor visits are stress related, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the #1 cause of office stress is coworkers and their complaining, according to Truejobs.com.

  • A study found that negative employees can scare off every customer they speak with--for good (How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath)

  • Too many negative interactions compared to positive reactions at work can decrease the productivity of a team, according to Barbara Fredrickson's research at the University of Michigan.

  • Negativity affects the morale, performance, and productivity of our teams.

  • One negative person can create a miserable office environment for everyone else.

  • Negative emotions are associated with the following:
    • Decreased life span and longevity

    • Increased risk of heart attack

    • Increased risk of stroke

    • Greater stress

    • Less energy

    • More pain

    • Fewer friends

    • Less success


Check it out. You might find the right approach to dealing with negativity in your work life.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.