Posted On: Saturday, 30 October 2010 by Rajiv Popat

He bitches a lot. The whiner in your team, I mean. The classic whiner feeds on gossip. He feeds on creating confusion through communication. A whiner usually whines because whining and bitching is easier to do than shipping something.

The classical management folks and people from HR will give you intelligent sounding advice. Talk to him, they will say. Counsel him. Have a discussion with him.


Then there is other breed that will panic at the whining and bitching. Fire him NOW, this bunch of managers will tell you.


Unless the whiner is a political scumbag, there in a whiner in all of us. The whiner whines because he is lazy. Because whining is easy. He whines because YOUR culture tells him that he can get away without shipping if he whines.

If you want to genuinely help a whiner and your organization, here is the golden advice:

Get him to ship something. Anything.

I don't care how small it is. I don't care how insignificant it is. I don't care if he ships crap. Make him ship. Consistently.

The same advice works for almost anything in life. Small incremental steps. If you have never run before, running just hundred meters will find you panting like a wild dog. They key is to do it. The key is to keep doing it. Then do it more.

Shipping is hard. Shipping means growing out of your comfort zone. Shipping means you take your ass off that couch, stop bitching and actually add value. Shipping, is also addictive. Shipping adds to a sense of well being and once you start becoming good at it shipping is fun.

Get your whiner to work. Get them to ship something. Anything. Leave no room for lame excuses, moaning or bitching. Make it clear to your whiner that you mean business. Chances are that they will either get so uncomfortable that they will leave or they will slowly and steadily become effective at what they do and have much less time for whining.

Repeat the process.

Do it till the whiner has either quit or till you have a fully productive employee who does not have time to whine any more.

Of course, there is a little bit of a whiner rooted deep down in all of us and if you have not been steadly shipping for some time now, the same recipe works for fixing that whiner within yourself too. Try it.

I wish you good luck.

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