There is so much talk of leadership resilience these days, of stoicism and carrying on, what’s happened to a good old-fashioned complaint?

With stress for working parents at an all-time high I think it is time to have bolder conversations, particularly if your resilience is shot to pieces after the last two years.

Tim Ferriss’s TED Talk on stoicism has more than three million views. In it he says:

“Stoicism doesn’t force a person to be a “cow standing in the rain accepting whatever tragedy and terrible circumstances befall it,” but rather provides a way to thrive in high-stress environments. It is a framework for making better decisions and training yourself to be less reactive…”.

We are all for emotional regulation (let’s not talk about the Oscars please) but not at any cost. Ferriss is talking about stoicism as a way of thriving under stress without having to accept the unacceptable. Has the #bekind movement put so much pressure on us all that it feels impossible not to bring complaint anymore?

I’d like to hand out some liberation from having to be so reasonable, kind, understanding, compassionate (the list goes on) at any cost and bring back a vote for complaint, for courageous, bold, uncomfortable conversations.

Patrick Lencioni in his work on The Five Dysfunctions of a Team brilliantly tells us that without conflict and complaint and disagreement we cannot get to high achieving. We have to learn to tolerate disagreement, criticism, conflict in order to deepen relationship not wreck it. Yes it requires skill, and right communication and vulnerability but mostly it requires a capacity to be courageous and work through things with others.

I think in 2022, we could all do with a bit more of that.