A session with your executive coach can be the right place to vent a workplace frustration. The relationship is confidential and there is no risk of compounding or magnifying an issue by sharing it with the wrong party. As a coach I welcome honesty and candor but am very careful to quickly turn a conversation from whining to analysis which leads to action. These are the questions I ask:
1. Is it possible for you to change the situation, the problem?
2. If yes, this leads to a discussion and an action plan.
3. If no, the next question: Is it possible for you to adapt to this thing that you cannot change?
4. If yes, that leads to a discussion and an action plan.
5. If no, then it leads to a discussion and a different action plan that involves moving themselves to a new environment.
A client acknowledged that it was time to take the same advice that he had recently given someone in his organization: “DON’T WHINE ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT, GATHER DATA AND USE IT TO SUPPORT DECISIONS AND DIRECTION YOU ADVOCATE.”