Things to do before you whinge

The ‘Before Whinging’ Checklist

It can be very frustrating when a contract, compliance, or legal process isn’t followed correctly.

The processes are set up for a reason. The rules are there. Surely everyone knows how to do the right thing and anyone who gets it wrong is doing it on purpose?

People often jump straight to complaining about someone else’s behaviour before getting curious about why that person behaved that way. If you find yourself about to complain that someone hasn’t followed the correct contract process or didn’t give you the right information, stop yourself.

You can’t get angry at someone if they had no way of knowing something was important. Especially if you never gave them clear, easy to understand information on why it is important. You shouldn’t get annoyed at someone who wasn’t able to complete a process the ‘correct’ way because one of the systems was down or they didn’t have the right access or someone in the process chain was away.

Where you can get annoyed is if the “not following the process” problem is due to a bad attitude. This is where a person knows the right thing to do and has the ability to do the correct thing but still chooses not to do the right thing.

Before you whinge that ‘somebody’ hasn’t done something right…


  • Did they know how to do it the right way?
  • Have you given them regular training as well as cheat sheets and playbooks that are clear and current?


  • Does the person have the systems access, technology and other abilities to complete the task in the right way?
  • Is the task efficient and productive?
  • Consider attacking the task with Triple O Productivity.
  • Ask the person for their suggestions on how to make the task easier to complete.


If the person knew the right way to do the task and had the capability to complete it properly, find out why they didn’t do it correctly (remember the 5 whys to get to the root cause if possible).  First you can try to encourage a better attitude (carrot) then you can look to enforce a better attitude (stick).

What do you do when processes aren’t done correctly? How do you address non-compliance?

Visit Productive Contracts for more ideas to make your contracts productive or see the Resources Vault for templates and checklists.

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