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Is It a Challenge, Complaint, or a Problem?

Do you ever find that great advice is not the easiest to implement? For example, a friend once suggested that when someone approaches you with a challenge (aka 'complaint' or 'problem') enlist their help in coming up with a solution. Oh, this sounds so easy. The problem is, I’m a doer…and impatient. I want things fixed now.

I’m also an educator. Taking advantage of teachable moments is one of the best ways to mentor others, build connections, and delegate responsibility. Sometimes, the complainer simply wants to be heard, they feel underappreciated or left out. Spending that moment to offer inclusive suggestions can prevent the squeaky wheel from amplifying.

Einstein once said, “if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” The true challenge is enlisting the help of others to solve their own problems. When we are successful, we all benefit by harmonizing our environment.

While not all complainers can be satisfied and our connection to toxic complainers should be limited, most people who present 'complaints' or 'problems' are coachable. Our job as mentors is to empower. So let's enlist the help of the others to make this world a complaint-free one.


Executive Mom Nest advisor, professor, speaker, and author Alison Nissen is the executive director of Branded Interviews, a platform that creates video business cards, webinars, and courses for authors, coaches, and entrepreneurs. She is also the co-founder and president of Revel Coach, a career growth platform and award-winning author. Follow her Tales from the Laundry Room @

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