The biggest roadblock to productivity is what I call “resistance.” Resistance is some form of negativity…a non acceptance of what is. Resistance shows up in various ways, but the easiest to spot in the world of business is complaining and judgment.
Complaining is a verbal resistance to a future event or a past occurrence. Judgment is the negative thought pattern about what should or should not be.
Complaining and judgment are obstacles to productivity because, instead of doing the one or two things you could actually do to solve the problem, serve the customer, or fix the mistake, time is wasted complaining about what who is wrong, what someone should have done and what you didn’t like about something or someone.
Judgment and complaining are time wasters that shift your focus in the wrong direction.
Why People Judge and Complain
So then, why do we judge and complain? We do it to lessen the pain and discomfort that taking responsibility requires of us. To be responsible means to look at the part you played. You didn’t explain your expectations thoroughly, you didn’t confront the problem when it was small, you didn’t speak your truth, you didn’t do a good job leading.
It’s just easier to complain about how inefficient your assistant is, or to judge them for not having the skills you thought they had.
Complaining and judging does nothing to solve your problem but it does make you feel better about yourself. It’s the most acceptable way of going into denial. Here’s an easy visual to bring this issue to light: Your boat springs a leak, so you take a shot of whiskey and beat your rowing team with your oar. Then you go find someone who will agree with you that you did the right thing. (You vent to other leaders who have the same problems and you conclude that it’s just darn hard to get good help.)
“They” should have checked out the boat maker, they should have avoided the rock. Now you have a reason why you didn’t get to your island, and that reason feels better than to say you didn’t delegate properly and you didn’t provide training or you didn’t do a good job leading.
Your anger and denial does nothing to actually help the situation. You still have a leak in the boat, and you still have incompetent rowers, and that is why complaining and judgment hampers productivity.