Are You Happy, Frustrated Or Just Don't Care?

This is an over-simplification, but people fall into three general buckets. Whether we are talking about customers, employees, students or any team members you lead.

  1. Happy - They are satisfied with your leadership and they like their position or status within the tribe. Things aren't perfect but they feel like they are listened to and you will try to make things better for them. Obviously you want to have everyone in this area, but know that it will never actually happen.
  2. Frustrated - There are levels of frustration ranging from the person that is calmly talking about why they aren't happy to the person that is so frustrated that they anyone that will listen. If they feel heard something productive can come from this.
  3. Don't Care - They have given up on you. The employee that just shows up and does the bare minimum. The player on the team that never gives their best effort. The customer that really wants to leave but can't find a better alternative but they've given up complaining as they know nothing will ever change.

You don't want people moving from being frustrated to not caring. If they are frustrated you have an opportunity to listen and maybe make some changes for the better. Complaining is okay if it directed at the person that can make a difference. Complaints are your opportunity to make some changes. Remember that for every one person that complains there are at least 10 more that feel the same way that just don't say anything.

When frustrations aren't addressed people generally give up. If they feel like their frustrations are ignored they assume that you don't care about them, so they stop caring. Those are the people that have one foot out the door, waiting for the opportunity of something better coming along. I will take frustrated people that keep talking to me over those that don't care any day. When someone stops caring it is already over, it is just a matter of time.


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