There is not so much awareness in our organizations and teams between complaining versus objecting. Here are the legal definitions as per WikiDiff, although I am talking more about civil purposes, which I have thrown in at the bullet points.
To complain: “(legal) in criminal law, the preliminary charge or accusation made by one person against another to the appropriate court or officer, usually a magistrate.”
- The complaint being indirect and well after the fact.
To object: “(legal) an official protest raised in a court of law during a legal trial over a violation of the rules of the court by the opposing party.
- Those rules usually involve procedure and behavior, with the objection directed at the offender in real-time.
So, how does this help us with an internal dispute or conflict? If you listen to any two organizational workers, you are more likely to hear:
COMPLAIN: Complaining about a fellow worker rather than how they objected to their behavior.
Isn’t that what gossip is? An unofficial complaint spread throughout the organization, about someone’s unresolved dispute, unbeknownst to the alleged offender? Well, I think so.
Rather than hear:
OBJECT: Objecting to someone’s behavior being more direct and in real-time, with the issue being much more likely to be resolved then and there rather than drawn out to infect the whole organization. Well, that is how I see it.
If you have not heard this before then, I would not be surprised, judging by the amount of gossip that saturates organizations. And if you want to eradicate backbiting, then maybe working on an Objection Procedure is the way to go.
Here is one I have prepared earlier: Object123