How to Ensure Your Complaints Make a Positive Difference

“If you’re waiting for someone else to resolve it, they are too!” Jeannette Seibly

As leaders, key employees, executives and fast-track professionals, you don’t have the luxury of complaining to everyone who will listen! It’s important to take responsibility for your complaints rather than dumping them on someone else. Gossiping, blaming, shaming and criticizing are reactive actions that will hinder you from making a positive difference. While the process may seem overwhelming or not do-able, take on the following three actions to proactively resolve your issue. Developing your proactive abilities will prepare you for the next promotion or job opportunity!

3 Actions to Be Proactive

Document the Issue. In the workplace it’s critical, due to a myriad of employment laws and standard operating procedures, that everything is documented. Stick to the facts – opinions won’t make a difference. Include date, time and the names of others witnessing the issue and a brief overview of the concerns. Include the positive and not-so-positive. (You may wish to reference, 5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Results,

Remember, not everyone is going to agree with your assessment of the situation. Be clear and concise (stick to the facts). Most people lose the opportunity to impact needed changes when they focus on their own personal and professional concerns and lose sight of how the solution can make a positive difference for everyone.

Tell Someone Who Can Make a Difference. Actively telling anyone that will listen about the issue may make you feel better momentarily, but won’t make a difference in the long run. In fact, it’s likely to hurt your future career growth and alienate your co-workers, boss and team when you violate confidentiality, belittle others, and fail to offer solutions!

Privately share your documentation with your team leader, boss, HR, or the vendor with the intention of creating win-win-win outcomes. Be responsible for your attitude and tone of voice. Share the concerns if it is not resolved – do not issue ultimatums. Offer one or two suggested solutions. Give them time to review and evaluate. Follow-up and be ready if the person is unable or unwilling to resolve it. This may then require you to take the complaint to a higher level executive.

Stay Away from Gossiping, Blaming, Shaming and Criticizing. The biggest problem and reason others won’t listen to you is you are too busy pointing your finger at your boss, the company, co-workers, vendors, clients or team members. Your commentary and opinions won’t resolve anything! Instead it will limit your ability to make a positive and proactive difference! When you are pointing a finger at someone, take the time to look at the three fingers pointed back at you and ask yourself: “What can I do differently that will make a positive difference?” Talk with your mentor or business advisor and get in action to resolve the complaint! Remember, you may need to restate the solution over and over until the right people hear you and resolve the complaint.

As leaders, it’s important you know how to take complaints and resolve them into win-win-win outcomes that make a positive difference. Use these three actions to be proactive and enjoy the amazing results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2016

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Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and executive coach for 24 years; along the way she’s guided the creation of three millionaires. She is laser sharp at identifying the leverage points that will take a business and its team to the next level of performance and success. Check out her website,, or contact Jeannette for a free, confidential conversation at Remember to get your copy of her 5th and newest book, It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition:

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