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What can you do about ranters?

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by quokka2011, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. quokka2011

    quokka2011 New commenter

    A member of my team rants and moans about everything that is wrong with our school, teaching, life, world... you name it, it gets ranted about. All this person does is rant and complain and it is having a negative effect on everyone around them. They take no responsibility for their own actions and cannot seem to see how things could be different if they did. I'm new to my role as HoD but not new to the school or the team. Before my promotion I would just put up with it or walk away but now I really feel like something has to be said. I just don't know how to go about it!
    Any advice would be appreciated!
     
  2. quokka2011

    quokka2011 New commenter

    A member of my team rants and moans about everything that is wrong with our school, teaching, life, world... you name it, it gets ranted about. All this person does is rant and complain and it is having a negative effect on everyone around them. They take no responsibility for their own actions and cannot seem to see how things could be different if they did. I'm new to my role as HoD but not new to the school or the team. Before my promotion I would just put up with it or walk away but now I really feel like something has to be said. I just don't know how to go about it!
    Any advice would be appreciated!
     
  3. Short sharp shock treatment? You don't need to be harsh, but "that's enough now, we need to get to some positive ideas"
     
  4. Humour? Good grief, you're being a right Job's comforter aren't you? Are you alright today?
     
  5. PS. When this happens in a meeting, I suddenly say (as borrowed from the Vicar of Dibley), Moving on! I then change the subject.
     
  6. Lottes

    Lottes New commenter

    Have a few short statements at the ready...
    Such as, “Now tell me something positive” after a negative story!
    or... "How about you focus on a solution to that issue?"
    ... love the suggestion of "Moving on...!" during a meeting.
    And try complimenting the individual any time you hear a positive statement or contribution rather than negativity from him/ her.
    There's always one!!!!!
     

  7. Teachers are terrible whingers - the worst!! It does my head in listening to them too. I think you should tell this person straight out you're fed up of hearing the constant bellyaching - it brings everyone down and achieves nothing. Tell them if they can't offer a positive solution to whatever they're bitching about, they should zip it. Put up or shut up, as they say!
     
  8. Sounds very like my current head of department! A strategy? You've got to try to turn it round and ask them what are they doing about it, other than just complaining?
     
  9. I was having a rant the other day & a colleague, with whom I deal rarely, said something along the lines of 'Why are you always so negative?'.
    It made me realise that I was stressed & had been quite negative for several weeks. I have since tried to be more +ve!
    Nothing like the direct approach - it shocked me into realising what a moaner I may have been!
     
  10. Sometimes there is a reason for their behaviour. I am unhappy at work and my line manager is being extremely unhelpful. If I come across as negative and if my work rate has dropped it is because of the conditions I work in, because I didn't feel this way 12 months ago, quite the opposite.
     
  11. They probably are complaining because you are not fulfilling your role properly as their HOD. Have YOU thought about 'being positive' towards their complaints and actually having the balls to do something about it with your line manager?
    If a member of your team is unhappy, then listen to them and don't just fob everything off with the 'stop being negative' cop out. You never know, you might just learn something about people management.
     
  12. You've made a fair point but I doubt that this is the case of the teacher described in the OP's post, as the OP stated that the teacher rants about everything. Also, I think that the ranter should have the balls to say to the OP, I'm not happy with X or Y that you've done because in a mature manner in a line management meeting, instead of ranting about anything and everything to all and sundry. Some people are just never happy with their lot, no matter who they're working or living with and the teacher mentioned in the OP sounds like one of them.

    Unless of course, outstandingwinger, you are the teacher described in the OP, in which case, I suggest that you set up that meeting with the OP, so that you can give the necessary feedback about the things in the department that you don't like, so that the OP can address them, instead of attacking the OP personally on this forum.
     
  13. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    They are equally probably a miserable sod who enjoys complaining about everything and everybody.
     
  14. Fair enough, complaints should be made in private, however the HOD middle management role is one which involves highly developed diplomatic skills to make the team pull together. The OP to me does not suggest they have those skills (yet) as they are brushing aside all the complaining as mere 'ranting'. Not good. The person involved (incidently not me as you ridiculously ponder) would probably be less inclined to work with or for this OP if they knew they were labelling them a ranter in public.
    To label a member of your team a ranter is frankly divisive and something a middle manager shouldn't do.

     
  15. Doesn't matter if they are. A good people manager will accomodate for that
     
  16. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    Of course it matters. The response to a) genuine and well-made criticisms and b) people who enjoy complaining is completely different. It is easier to deal with a) and, sometimes, impossible to deal with b).
    A good people manager should not have to accomodate (sic) b), they should be given the tools to DEAL with it. Completely different things.
     

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