A conversation series between Lindsay Boccardo and Lauren Moffatt, HR expert.
Lauren: Hey you.
Lindsay: Hey Lauren. So good to see you. So we originally met because you're a career coach and I'm a career coach and you also have this extensive background as a vice president of HR. You've hired and fired a lot of people.
Lauren: Yes, unfortunately.
Lindsay: You've dealt with a lot of different types of issues. So what do you do when a client or an individual comes to you and they're talking about how frustrated they are and they tend to vent. What would you say about venting in the workplace?
Lauren: Well, it doesn't bode well for you at all. And I love to use the word "bode". I feel like you should have your pinky up with that one. [laughs] So whenever you vent in the workplace, it looks like you're actually a problem creator versus a problem solver.
Lindsay: You're a part of the issue to begin with.
Lauren: You do kind of have a target on your back if you're venting. So many times when people vent, the whole intention is they're not trying to solve anything. They're just trying to get someone to validate how they feel.
Lindsay: And that's real, wanting to be validated! But doing that inside of your company just doesn't position you well.
Lauren: It doesn't, and you probably do it more than once. So then you probably have a label -- you're a Venter. It's draining to other people that work with you. You don't always know if they want to be a part of that or not. So then they're wondering,
"Does this person vent about me?" It just creates a question mark in people's heads.
Lindsay: About your character, yep. So where should someone go when they're frustrated?
Lauren: So they can go to a parent, they can go to a friend. They can go to maybe an outside professional group that they're in. Just some place where they know that that person is going to be trustworthy and that they can truly have that space to just complain without judgment.
Lindsay: That's great. And then if they're like, "Okay, I feel validated, I've got my hands around the problem now I actually do want to have a solution for this problem", then it makes sense to bring it back to work and say, "Hey, here's what I'm thinking. This
is an issue that I'm seeing here, so I want to solve it." And it's no longer venting cause it's constructive.
Lauren: Right. When you're so upset, you've got a ton of emotions. If you don't let that out, it's really hard for you to be in a place to work through the actual problem. So let it out with people that you trust and then you're more ready to actually receive and think about what could be a solution. That's being the person that you want them to see at work.
Lindsay: Yes, exactly. So venting at work is never really a good idea.
Lauren: Not so much, stick to those outside channels so you can come back to work with a clear mind and a solution.
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