I was standing in the TSA line at the airport today, trying to make my way to a client in Dallas, TX. From all the way at the back of the line, I couldn’t understand why the line was moving VERY slowly. I could sense people’s frustration growing. What is taking so long?
As I crept at a snail’s pace toward the agent, I better understood the problem. People were busy being frustrated with the slow-ness, and as a result, they didn’t get their documents ready. They didn’t prepare to take out their laptops, remove their shoes and belts and coats and earrings and and and… (you see where this is heading). They were so concerned about the speed of the line (or lack thereof) that they didn’t realize they were contributing to the problem.
I’ve spent a lot of time with individuals and organizations that do the same thing. Rather than understand the root of the problem in order to remedy it, they stand by and complain about the problem, often compounding it.
My work rule: If you’re going to complain about it, you must own solving it.
Consider how often you hear people complain about something in their lives. If that time were spent on developing solutions, would the problems continue to exist? Perhaps, but I’m willing to bet ‘no’. I think we could all do with less problems in our lives, whether personal or professional. So get to work. Be a problem-solver.