tiffany-smToday’s guest blogger is Tiffany Funk, Humanergy’s Marketing and Materials Specialist.

During a recent conversation with a good friend and former co-worker, she shared a list of issues (a very long list) she planned to take to her weekly one-on-one meeting with her supervisor. Typically easy going and known for a positive attitude, she was fed up. This was completely understandable; the majority of her concerns I’d also experienced firsthand. I haven’t worked there for years, and the old frustrations were alive and well.

I know the old adage is “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” but that doesn’t necessarily apply in the workplace. I can think of several squeaky wheels who always had a litany of grievances to share. They made staff meetings longer and patience shorter for the rest of us. Of course, none of their concerns were ever resolved – even valid ones – because the bottomless pit of complaints sabotaged their credibility.

A mentor once gave me a sage piece of advice that I’ve never forgotten; when you take a problem to your manager, always bring a solution with it. This article from Harvard Business Review suggests it’s best to pick your battles at work, since it’s impossible to resolve every last issue. Even if you don’t have the resolution completely mapped out, you’re more likely to be taken seriously, now and in the future, if you have a suggested strategy.

Fortunately, my friend decided to forego her chat with the boss until she had a plan in place, and focus on helping to resolve one issue – a chaotic weekly meeting that I used to dread (think lots of pointless sidebar conversations and minimal progress). I directed her to two great blogs, How to herd cats and Three reasons NOT to have a meeting (thanks, Humanergy!) to use as references for structuring a productive meeting.

How do you address a long list of ongoing irritations? We’d love to hear how it worked out for you – leave a comment below or contact us here!


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