Bears, Co-Workers and Complainers

Ok, I’m going to use two stories to make two “points” that you might be able to use on yourself and, possibly, look for opportunities where you might share them with your employees. Let’s see how I do.

Once upon a time, (don’t you love it already?), two young boys (could be co-workers), were walking in the woods (could be working at their job) when a bear spied them and started coming their way. (Ok, you’re responsible for making the work-relates now…) One of the frightened boys was a capable tree climber and started climbing a tree. The other, not so good at climbing; but had heard somewhere that bears didn’t like “dead” prey. He fell to the ground and held his breath. The bear pushed him, smelled his carcass, and then walked away. The tree-climbing friend hurried over and said it looked like the bear actually spoke to you. What did he say? As the boy sat upright, he said he told me I needed to find a new friend.

So, what possible moral messages did you take away from this story? When I’ve shared this story in the past, I’ve gotten ideas like the meaning of “true friendship”, and the message of “friends in time of need definitions”, and always something about “strength in numbers”. And the there are times I’ve heard analogies to “co-workers” coming to the aid of another co-worker to get the job done. (Of course without the bear…) I’ll let you develop the idea of ‘together’; big obstacles can be overcome.

And then there is the story of the “constant complainer”. You know, that employee who always, always complains. And the things complained about are always the same. (Sometimes work related; but not always.) This may be the worker nobody wants to work with or next to. You have to deal with the co-workers taking your time to complain about the “complainer”. (I hope that’s not any of you.)

Now, the second story… there once was a “wise man” who told a joke to a group of people. Everybody laughed heartily (that means with loudness and animation.) The next day when people came by, he told the same joke and their response was a little less hearty. He did the same for a number of days and they ultimately stopped laughing. Some even stopped interacting with the storyteller.

So what is a work-related moral from the “wise man” story? Might it be that a good Supervisor would/should address and resolve work-related complaints having merit. However, “complaints without merit will dissuade co-workers from listening at all. Is the moral that “People will stop laughing at jokes told over and over. Could it be that complainers become known for “complaining” and not considering their co-workers, not caring for their co-workers?

By the way, I have been asked if I am the afore mentioned “wise man”.



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