Grumbling

Assessing the Available Capacity for Relationship with Others Through Listening to the Scale of Their

Complaints & Frustrations (Grumblings1)

We can measure the scales of humor (cruel, hostile, sarcastic, philosophical, educational, racial, cultural, or slapstick) and profile people according to the type of humor each feels is 'real humor'. We could just as likely measure how a person treats family members, employees, service people, money, play, spirituality, cars, drugs, health, safety, class, leftovers, weather, illness, debt, prosperity, diversity, change, failure, hope, authority, waste, the environment, or animals. A scale of preferences and resulting profiles can be attached to anything. The scale of needs, wants, desires, belonging, meaning, survival, safety or recognition can be rated as either absent /lacking or present / fulfilled.

As people's basic needs are gratified they move out of conscious awareness and are replaced with another level of desire. As a person focuses on these next level needs, grumbling increases.

In the same way, the way people complain, the degree of their complaints, the level of what one describes an unfulfilled need, can be an indicator of the motivational scale at which that person is working. In the corporate setting it can measure the health of an individual, a team or the whole organization with a sufficient sampling.

Three indicators that must be acknowledged for this type of assessment to be useful: 1. The selected behavior (complaining level); 2. The hardwiring of the individual (seen as preferences & projection); and 3. Their current relationship skill set (the eggshell test).

1 Abraham Maslow, "On the Further Reaches of Human Potential" 1964
Copyright © 2001 Scott I. Taylor 12969 Woodlake Road, Grass Valley, CA. 95949

What Is Grumbling?
What is enough or too much? We each have a distinct range of grumbling, complaining or frustration when:

1. Something is absent or lacking,
2. When something, is at an acceptable level, and
3. When something is beyond what we feel comfortable receiving.

Compensation Attention

Love
Rejection
Negative or positive regard Shaming
Respect
Recognition

Or to summarize the above list: Being seen, understood, accepted, chosen and valued

It is human nature to grumble, to complain about what we don't have or what others do. Our basic sense of self is based on comparison. The vehicle for comparison is projection.

People project that which is perceived as missing or desired in self onto others.

The way we are wired or conditioned from birth is:
1. To achieve a level of satisfaction,
2. To bask in the glow, and then
3. To feel empty again, making us desire more.

Where Grumbling Comes From?

The source of grumbling comes from a vague to strong feeling that something is missing. It is an emptiness that finds comfort in habitual behaviors or what we can call personal
drugs of choice (i.e., recreational drugs, work, play, exercise, video games, reading, legal
drugs, religion, politics, eating, clubbing, hobbies, computers, music, or anything that is used in excess to replace poor relationship skills). Grumbling is about limitations and
boundaries learned during and in order to survive childhood.

Grumbling comes from what was missing during childhood regarding being seen, understood, accepted, chosen and valued by our caregivers. Grumbling, or the scale of
complaining, are indicators as to what was missing during those early years and what was
missing for the caregivers. No caregiver holds back a better relationship model for later use. No boss holds back a better relationship model for next quarter. They are all using
the best one the have given moment-to-moment circumstances.

Copyright © 2001 Scott I. Taylor 12969 Woodlake Road, Grass Valley, CA. 95949

Why Grumbling Occurs?
As lower levels of need are fulfilled, new desires arise. Humans are built addictive-
compulsive by nature. When hungry, food is desired. When thirsty, liquid is sought after. When feelings are hurt, solace is sought. When something goes wrong, we look
for a cause. We live our lives biologically, chemically, electrically, emotionally and spiritually addictive-compulsively.

How Grumbling Measures Relationship Capacity.
The health or level of development of any human interpersonal relationship or
organization can be measured by rating the height of the hierarchy of the complaints and grumbles. Behavior, verbal and non-verbal, communicates a level of satisfaction. However, no matter how healthy a relationship or successful an organization, their will always be
perceived ways to the situation.

Copyright © 2001 Scott I. Taylor 12969 Woodlake Road, Grass Valley, CA. 95949

Ascending Scale of Grumbling Hierarchy of Grumbling (Frustration) Examples of Low. High and Meta Grumbling

Low Grumbling

(Hostage of psychopathic killer; in a concentration camp; in an abusive-violent relationship; to natural disasters, being fired or laid off, on welfare or living at a sub-poverty level.

Survival - Basic biological needs - food, shelter, and clothes. When illness, starvation,
freezing, death are real possibilities. When indignities, abuse, prejudice, cruelty must be endured in order to survive.

Security & Safety - cold, wet, or unsafe conditions at work. Hate crimes, prejudice, and abnormalities. Being fired arbitrarily, not being able to plan a family budget or, not being
able to plan a future as the job may end at anytime. Indignities, abuse, prejudice, cruelty might be endured to assure security and safety.

High Grumbling
(Toeing-the-Iine at work without receiving recognition; when others take credit for your efforts; being misunderstood; accused of something not done; racial/gender profiling to comparing self & self's situation to others.)

Belonging - being seen, understood, accepted, chosen and valued. Grumblings would be around questions of self-esteem, dignity, self-respect, respect for others, autonomy,
feelings of worth, getting praise and rewards, receiving credit for work & accomplishments, the distribution of equity, headcount & resources; lack of recognition, prestigious office or a corporate gym.

Meaning -

Meta Grumbling

(
Self-Actualization - Needs for perfection, justice, beauty and truth. In the corporate

setting the grumbling would point to inefficiencies in free flow of work; inaccuracies in information & communications; in other words, an impersonal and altruistic

philosopher's complaint. Statements about the imperfection of the world.
People who grumble at the Meta level have the luxury to live at this level as they live at a very high level of life, my grumble about the injustice happening to others.

Copyright © 2001 Scott I. Taylor 12969 Woodlake Road, Grass Valley, CA. 95949

Antidote for Resolving Grumbling

Make a list of the forgotten benefits or conditions that existed before, based on the level of grumbling now.

Higher level grumbling is not to be seen as just more of the same annoying human behavior always present. Emerging complaints suggest conditions that are now fulfilled,

allowing a higher level complaining to emerge.

Managers who understand that improved conditions will habitually raise the level of grumbling can respond with appropriate descriptions of preconditions, rather than expect improvements will eliminate complaints. Managers can then see that money, effort and time has been utilized to improve working condition is not wasted when a new level of grumbling emerges in the work place. Managers would come to expect a higher level of complaints, a natural condition when dealing with human nature.

Questions can be asked to evaluate the improvements in relationships:

1. Have the level of complaints gone up to a higher level of grumbling?
2. Are the complaints really about survival, belonging or justice within the

organization, or are they surface indications of dominance within the hierarchy? Take money as an example. Does the employee need more money to survive or is

it a power or prestige issue?

Copyright © 2001 Scott I. Taylor 12969 Woodlake Road, Grass Valley, CA. 95949 

© Scott Taylor 2013