First and foremost, you need to realize that your stakeholder is human beings too. They have their own issues, problems, and concerns just like everyone else does. Many of them are not aware that they are over-complaining and that they need help with it. In fact, many of them will not even understand what you mean when you say "You're over-complaining."
Over-complaining stakeholders are a common occurrence in the workplace. They can be difficult to deal with, but it is important to remember that they are not trying to be difficult; rather, they are having difficulty communicating their needs and understanding yours.
Here are some tips for handling over-complaining stakeholders:
- Listen carefully to what the stakeholder is saying. Don't interrupt them or try to talk over them. Just listen until they have finished complaining. Then, ask them if there is anything else they would like to say about the matter at hand.
- Don't get defensive. When a stakeholder complains about your work, it can be easy to feel hurt or defensive, but try not to take it personally. Instead, listen carefully and look for areas where you might be able to improve.
- Ask questions about what exactly is bothering your stakeholder about this situation in order to understand what might need adjusting in order for things to go better next time around.
- If possible, make any necessary adjustments immediately so that your stakeholder feels heard and seen—and hopefully won't come back again!
- Another thing you can do is explain what you're doing, step-by-step. This will help keep the conversation on track and prevent it from going off the rails. It also shows your stakeholder that you're being cooperative and listening to their concerns instead of just dismissing them out of hand.
- Know when enough is enough! If your stakeholder starts complaining about every little thing then it's time for you to step in and put an end to it before it becomes too much for both parties involved (you included).
Stakeholder: I'm so unhappy with the work you've done for me! You're just not up to the task, and I'm going to have to find someone else to do it.
Freelancer: Let's talk about what's bothering you. Is it that the content is not right? Or is there a problem with my style?
Stakeholder: It's both! First of all, the content is terrible—it doesn't address my audience at all! And secondly, your writing style just isn't what I was hoping for. It's so boring and uninteresting. What were you thinking when you wrote this stuff?
Freelancer: Well, first of all, let me make sure we're on the same page about what kind of writing you were looking for. Do you have an example of what kind of content would be better suited for your audience?
Stakeholder: Yes! Here's one that I found online that really speaks to them—it's from [link].