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Did you know that it takes people on average 6 months to be able to go 21 consecutive days without complaining?

It makes going complaint-free easier said than done.

I heard about this challenge on CBC’s Tapestry 

How does it work?

For 21 days you cannot complain, blame, criticize or gossip.  You wear a wristband and you switch it to the other wrist as soon as you catch yourself doing any of the above.  These are the rules set out by Will Bowen who will even send you a purple wrist band (I hear they are on back order), along with his book.

What do I do instead?

Does it mean you are just going to be positive and not notice anything negative around you? Not at all. It means you express what you see, but you stay out of judgment and blame and you rephrase it.

Instead of saying:

“I can’t believe that team is so incredibly slow. They should have finished that part ages ago!”

Say:

“The team has not delivered the results at the promised and agree upon time. I am curious as to what happened and I am going to find out.”

It also works at home.

Instead of saying:

“Ah, all you do is watch your youtube (insert favourite social media), I can’t believe you didn’t clean the kitchen!”

Perhaps try:

“We agreed that you could clean the kitchen. I see it has not been done. What happened? What is your plan for getting it done?”

Language Matters

When you are in blame, you cannot be in kind and supportive mode at the same time. When you complain, you cannot be solution-oriented at the same time.

You may not have a choice in what triggers or annoys you, but you do have a choice in the language you choose. It takes more effort to reframe you complaint into neutral language, but it is well worth it to create a kinder, more productive work place. When we are in a positive frame of mind we see more solutions (the happiness advantage) Blaming, gossiping and complaining do not contribute to this positive frame of mind.  

Maya Angelou had some thoughts on a world without complaints:

 

Join in

You can get the official plastic band or the app, but any bracelet or elastic wrist band will do.

I am getting started today - I bet it won’t be as easy as it seems.  

Join in and share what you discover. 

 

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  • Martin Durocher
    Martin Durocher says #
    Sounds excellent. I actually heard the author of Positive Intelligence speak today and it resonated with me. We could all use mor

 

I often hear leaders in organizations ask about how they can “make” people take more accountability for their personal and leadership development. You can’t really “make” people do anything, but these 4 simple questions will provide you with lots of insight on how to make personal and leadership development matter to your team.

Four simple questions:

Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey (2009) suggest that you know that an organization had people taking ownership of their ongoing development when you could walk into an organization and any person could tell you:

  • What is the one thing they are working on that will require that they grow to accomplish it
  • How they are working on it
  • Who else knows and cares about it
  • Why this matters to them


Reference: Immunity to change. How to overcome it and unlock the potential in yourself and your organization. Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, 2009.

 

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in What's New 12535 0

Mylène Paquette does not think she is special – yet she is the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic taking the North Route. It took her 129 days to cover the 5,000 km (or 2,700 nautical miles). The spark for her incredible journey was an 11-year old girl undergoing chemotherapy St. Justine hospital in Montreal who told her she didn’t have a clue what courage was… Mylène taught me 6 lessons on dreaming big.

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in What's New 28479 0

Identify your dream, dedicate your efforts toward that dream, assemble a team of people who can help you get there, believe in yourself, and learn from and enjoy the journey while getting to where you want to be.  This is some of what I learned from the two autobiographies I read over the past month: Silken Laumann’s Unsinkable: My untold Story and Chris Hadfield’s  An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. Both authors are remarkable individuals and both have accomplished incredible feats.  

Chris Hadfield’s career as an astronaut who has been in space three times is awe-inspiring as he describes a life of dedication to his dream. Silken Laumann’s single-minded recovery from a horrific leg injury only 10 weeks before the Olympics to win Bronze in the single sculls event in Barcelona (1992) is inspiring. Yet their autobiographies couldn’t be more different.

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in What's New 27957 0

“What is perfect about this?”

When I ask this question in my coaching, often I get a blank or annoyed look. “Nothing. There is nothing perfect about this,” is the typical reply and the frustration is palpable. Letting silence work its magic, something inevitably opens up. “Well, maybe this is the opportunity to think differently about how I approach this,” or, “What I used to do is no longer working. I should delegate and this might be the opportunity for Jeff to take on more responsibilities.”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Brenda
    Brenda says #
    This is a truly wonderful example of what is perfect about this. Ellen , thanks so much.
  • Francoise
    Francoise says #
    This is a great question. It allows people to focus on the positive aspects of a situation, thereby jump-starting their creativity

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