I am back in California this week spending time with the Interop gang getting the network up and running. It's always stimulating to connect with this team, learn what they're doing, and get re-ignited in a number of areas.
Today, however, we talked about whiners...
It's amazing that so many people seem to delight in complaining. Finding something wrong and then picking at it, often working hard to get others to go along with their observations. The core of complaining is the same as the source for conceit: a need to fit in. Also known as insecurity.
It is especially painful when the whiners are skilled team members. Furthermore, complaining is contagious, and can infect whole teams of people and even become a team culture. It can seem like it isolates the team against the outside, but sooner or later it becomes a defense that must be breached to get stuff done.
Watch out for whining. Check it in yourself and lead away from it on your team. In general, you can't legislate it out of existence, but it can become clear that it's not "ok". Keeping in mind the need to be accepted that drives it, you can probably eradicate it. If you can't, it's probably time to take action and clean up the team. No one likes to do that, but these days even more than ever before, you need to keep the team positive and moving forward.