Mar 1, 2013
Midas Rule applies when addressing what sounds like whining. It applies less to legitimate complaints, especially from stakeholders.

But how can you tell if it's whining? Are these whining statements?
  • "I don't like what's for dinner."
  • "This software should do this."
  • "No one remembered my birthday again!"
  • "Aw, I stepped in poo."
You might be responding to a whine if you want to say, "it's your own fault," "do something about it," or "what do you want me to do about it?"

However, it's not a whine if you should be responding to this person or someone is responsible for the problem. For example:
  • "I don't like what's served, this is not what I ordered."
  • "This software should do this, as described in the requirements."
  • "Mommy, why didn't anyone come to my birthday party?"
  • "I stepped in your dog's poo."
These aren't whines, they're legitimate complaints. You don't say, "By Midas Rule honey, you should have invited your preschool friends to your party."

How do we tell the difference? Whining is easy and sometimes fun, but it doesn't fix things.

Legitimate complaints are made by actual stakeholders that have a vested interest in the results and you're responsible to help in the situation.
  • If your competition complains about your product or service, you don't have to listen to them.
  • If your employees complain about your product or service, you might consider what they say and maybe by Midas Rule, you let them improve it.
  • If your customers or other important stakeholders complain about your product or service, be very careful when to apply Midas Rule on them.
But by all means, take the initiative and care enough to call Midas Rule for yourself to find a way to fix it.