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It’s easy to get into the habit of complaining at work. In fact it can be a way of bonding with your colleagues. Those sidechat grousing sessions can feel so satisfying in the short term. But as leadership coach Rick Tamlyn explains, complaining has a toxic effect on our ability to progress and find our best creative selves.

Of course, you may not think you’re a complainer, but as Tamlyn suggests, try tracking how many negative thoughts and words you express every day, versus the positive moments. The tally may surprise you. Changing that dynamic is hard, but key, says Tamlyn who believes changing the way we talk about our lives can be one of the most essential ways to move toward the career and life we want.

Tamlyn is a leadership coach, motivational speaker and advisor to Fortune 100 companies, small businesses, nonprofits, and churches. His goal is helping people get unstuck so that they can tap into their own creativity. He has built a global audience, speaking and conducting workshops in more than 17 countries for individuals and companies such as IBM, The Coaches Training Institute, Glaxo-SmithKline, Schneider Electric, among others.

He is the author of Play Your Bigger Game (2013), and a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) as well as a Master Certified Coach (MCC) as designated by the International Coach Federation (ICF), and a senior trainer for The Coaches Training Institute, a coach training and leadership development organization.

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