Alan was a senior manager at a big engineering firm.
He always kept a chicken timer on his desk. 🐔
Whenever an employee came into his office to complain about something, Alan gave them the chicken timer, and told them to go into the bathroom and set the timer for 3 minutes.
He said for 3 minutes, look yourself in the mirror and just go nuts. Yell, kick, scream, curse… Let out all your frustrations. Then when the timer goes off – you’re done. Complaining time is over.
Alan noticed a few interesting things using this tactic:
1) When people came into his office for a meeting or just to talk, they would be very careful about what they said. They saw the chicken timer on the desk and made sure their conversation and work requests were not just complaining.
2) If someone ever did take the chicken timer into the bathroom, they would never last 3 minutes. Because looking at themselves in the mirror – they quickly realized that complaining is ugly. Yelling, kicking and screaming doesn’t solve anything. Most employees came out of the bathroom smiling and laughing at themselves.
3) Slowly everyone in the office improved their attitude. Alan’s firm was known for having workers that didn’t dwell on problems much, and always thought of solutions quickly when things went wrong.
Fun story, and a good reminder that:
Every 1 minute you spend complaining about something, you have 1 less minute to think of a solution.
Cheers to a happy day!
Also see –> No complaining until April 1st!