Posted by: zenmamajo | March 16, 2012

How to Complain Without Sounding Like a Jerk

are you known as this guy when you provide feedback?

here’s how you can be more like this dude:

1. Think honey, not vinegar…kindness goes a long ways…

2. Give people the opportunity to correct the problem.

3. Log! Log! Log! Include: dates, names of who you spoke to, brief description of what was said, note if waiting for follow up and date when follow up was made and an overview of that conversation. Be sure to include any specific quotes if important.

4. Take it “up the chain” after a reasonable amount of time (e.g. start with that person’s superior and so on until someone responds).

5. Always offer at least one solution to correct the problem.

6. Share experiences (i like to ‘sandwich’ my feedback by starting with a positive observation, the complaint, and then ending with something positive if possible) but focus on the solution(s).

7. Use email whenever possible so that there is a record of correspondence.

8. Keep it professional. Focus on facts rather than your emotions. I recently submitted a complaint about how “disheartened I felt about a recent experience”. I felt a lot of other (intense emotions) about the experience, but I shared just enough so that they knew I was dissatisfied. i used the methods listed above and heard from the CEO within an hour of sending the message.

9. Try to make a habit and develop a reputation for providing positive feedback whenever possible.

10. Don’t expect a follow-up unless it’s absolutely necessary – like your life was in placed in jeopardy or something like that. Just trust that the feedback will get in to the proper hands. If not – at least – hopefully – you were able to send some constructive criticism.


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