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When You Complain This Way, You’ll Always Get What You Want

When You Complain This Way, You’ll Always Get What You Want

Let’s face it, everyone hates complainers. If you’ve ever been in the firing line of angry complainers, you’ll know why. Their forceful and demanding requests can leave you shaken, disturbed – and perhaps even humiliated.

Still, as much as we don’t like people who always complain, an average person is said to complain nearly 15-30 times a day.[1] Clearly, there are times when you’ll be justified in complaining. Let’s take a look at some of these.

Why do we hate complaints?

Complaints usually stem from problems that people encounter. Maybe it’s a co-worker who’s not doing his job well – or perhaps a waiter who served you badly. When we experience problems like these, we feel unsatisfied about them, and we naturally want to vent our emotions and express our desire for them to be resolved.

Take a look around any shopping centre, and you’ll see dozens of examples of people encountering problems and quickly becoming frustrated and annoyed by their inability to fix them. Why is this? Even if a complaint is valid, people on the receiving end usually struggle to handle it because facts are difficult to accept right in the face. The more the truth is shoved in their face – the easier it becomes for them to ignore and reject the complaint. This is a common defensive mechanism.

    As complaining can frequently lead to no result, many people steer clear of making complaints. And for those who do stand up for their rights, their reputation is often negatively affected because people see them as a stubborn and obnoxious complainer.

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    Is there a way that your complaint won’t be ignored and you’ll get what you want? Yes, there is.

    Complain with a strategy

    You can get what you want if you complain with a specific strategy. For the strategy to work, you should decide if you truly want some results in return – or whether you just want to release your anger.

      If you’re only interested in expressing your emotions, then you should stop reading here. But if you want to get results, then you’ll need a plan before complaining.

      So, what is the strategy that you need to follow? Fgure out who can provide what you want, and then work out the best way to get that person to give it to you.

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        We’ll delve into the details of this strategy now.

        How to get your complaints heard

        There are three key ways of ensuring that your complaints are dealt with to your satisfaction.

        1. Bite your tongue before you process the situation

        If you’ve been hit by a problem, process it first before speaking out. This might mean taking a few seconds or minutes to let the problem sink in, and then to consider what actions you’ll take to bring about a resolution.

        If it’s something that you have the ability to improve or fix, then your best bet is to just go ahead and do it.

        2. Figure out what others want and think from their perspective

          Think hard about what your audience’s potential interests and pain points are.

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          Complaining at inappropriate times (e.g., when other people are in the spotlight or when they have bigger or more important issues to deal with) can make you look selfish and prevent you from being heard.

          Also, excessive or exaggerated complaining about the same thing can trigger negative emotions in others. When this happens – this will typically lead to your complaint falling on deaf ears.

          3. Never sound like you’re making a ‘request’

          If you lose control of your emotions and start making demands, you’ll quickly try the patience and goodwill of the person who might be able to help you.

          The secret to effective complaining is to make the other person feel they want to resolve the issue for you. To do this, you may have to go against your instincts, and be extra nice. At the end of the day, getting what you want is more important than being right or sounding tough.

            Let’s be honest, no one likes to be told what to do.

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            Instead of saying: “I need this doing now!” Try softening your tone and saying something like: “You don’t have to do this…” This indirect approach is non-confrontational and makes the person serving you think that it’s okay to help you. Instead of feeling ordered around, they are simply responding to a query. No mental or emotional barriers will go up, and nine times out of ten, the person will happily help you out.

            Relevant complaints are powerful

            Now that you know the secrets of complaining in an effective way, you’ll no longer be afraid to speak up when needed.

            By complaining in the right way, you’ll ensure that mistakes get rectified and promises are kept. But above and beyond this, you’ll also develop a powerful self-belief that will enable you to chart your own course through life.

            Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

            Reference

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            Anna Chui

            Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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            Last Updated on March 14, 2019

            7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

            7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

            Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

            For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

            Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

            1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

            A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

            It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

            It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

            How it helps you:

            If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

            Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

            2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

            Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

            Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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            How it helps you:

            Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

            Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

            If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

            Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

            3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

            Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

            Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

            How it helps you:

            This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

            For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

            Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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            A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

            4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

            To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

            A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

            How it helps you:

            One word: hierarchy.

            All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

            In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

            If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

            5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

            Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

            Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

            How it helps you:

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            Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

            If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

            This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

            6. What do you like about working here?

            This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

            Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

            How it helps you:

            You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

            Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

            Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

            7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

            What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

            As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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            How it helps you:

            What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

            First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

            Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

            Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

            Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

            Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

            Making Your Interview Work for You

            Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

            Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

            More Resources About Job Interviews

            Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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