“The Art of Complaining Effectively and the Dirty Toilet” written by Bren Koger.
The Art of Complaining and the Dirty Toilet- How to Complain the Right Way
I attend our local gym almost every day, and for the most part it’s kept clean and orderly.
I tend to use the same bathroom stall every day too (creature of habit) so was annoyed and disgusted to find that it hadn’t been cleaned properly for over a week.
Warning if you’re eating or have a squeamish stomach do not keep reading…
Around The Rim
Last week there was an obvious brown smear close to the rim and it forced me to use another toilet for a few days. Not the end of the world. It was just a little annoying so I didn’t think to mention it to the staff.
After a week had gone by I ran into the manager as I was leaving the bathroom. I smiled and said “Hey Lindsay, “You might not be aware of this so can I show you something?” and took her into the dirty bathroom to let her know it hadn’t been cleaned properly.
She was grateful to know and had the cleaning staff come in and take care of it.
It worked out really well and I felt like the problem was resolved. I felt empowered and assertive AND I had my favorite bathroom stall back. 🙂
It reminded me of what I know about the art of complaining effectively.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you run into a situation where you want to be kind, affective and fair when if comes to complaining.
The reason we are complaining is to bring something to someone’s attention. We want something to change or improve. So why not boost your odds of getting what you want by learning how to complain the right way.
The Art of Complaining Effectively – Bringing Light To Problem
Consider the fact that they probably don’t realize that there is a problem and let them know that when you bring it to their attention.
For example, when I complained about the dirty toilet I said, “You probably weren’t aware of this but, this toilet has been dirty like this for the past week.” and I offered a solution.
Back your complaint up with a solution. With the dirty toilet, I said, “Maybe you can let your cleaning staff know.”
In Small Doses
Don’t lump a bunch of complaints together; one complaint at a time. You might be tempted to say “AND another thing….the sauna always smells musty. Blah blah blah”
Don’t do it.
Stick to the issue at hand, and if necessary, handle the smelly sauna another time.
The Art of Complaining Effectively Means Picking the Right Target
Complain to the right person. I went directly to the manager instead of complaining to another gym member or a trainer. That would have been gossip.
Go to the person who has the ability to make a difference in the situation.
Watch your tone of voice and facial expression. We all have bad days and it’s easy to take it our on someone, but try your best to approach the person you are complaining to without whining or sneering at them. A smile and a pleasing tone of voice can go a long way. Some things can make us a little emotional so don’t ever approach someone when you are angry. Give yourself some time to calm down.
“Speaking up about a complaint and attaining a resolution makes us feel empowered, assertive, effective, and resourceful. It can boost our self-esteem and enhance our feelings of efficacy. It can help us battle depression, improve our relationships, salvage partnerships, and deepen friendships.” says Guy Winch author of “The Squeaky Wheel” With all of this in mind it’s definitely worth your while to learn how to complain the right way.
Leave a comment below if these tips on complaining effectively have been helpful to you.
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