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职场报忧4步走

2014-02-21    来源:fortunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

没有人喜欢传达坏消息,比如,告诉某个同事过了元宵节就不用再回来上班了。但是,这类事情拖得越久越糟糕。怎样才能干净漂亮地完成这类棘手的任务?遵循四个原则就能确保速战速决。

Dear Annie: I've been following your columns about promotions over the past year or so, and I finally got one. The trouble is, it comes with some nasty conditions. The person who had this job before me let my department's performance slide to an unacceptable low, mainly because he didn't want to fire anybody -- even though there are a few people here who haven't done any real work in years. These same people have also influenced other team members, so their productivity has fallen too.
亲爱的安妮:这几年我一直在看你写的关于升职的专栏,现在终于有了想请教你的问题。这个问题使得局面非常糟糕。我这个职位上的前任使部门业绩下滑到了不可接受的程度,原因主要在于他不愿解雇任何人——即使有的人几年里都没有真正做过什么事。这些人还影响到了其它团队成员,最终使得其他人的工作效率也降低了。

So now what I have to do is "turn things around," my boss said, by letting a few people go and giving shape-up-or-ship-out evaluations to some others. I have no experience with giving this kind of bad news, and I really dread these conversations. Do you or your readers have any advice on how to do this, or how not to? -- Management's Messenger
因此我的老板告诉我,我现在需要“扭转局面”,解雇一些人,同时评估其他人的表现,告诉他们,“要么好好干,要么滚蛋”。我没有传达这类坏消息的经验,也非常恐惧这类谈话。请问您或您的读者能不能给我一些建议,告诉我应该怎样做?或者说怎么才能不干这个苦差事呢?——“管理层信使”

Dear M.M.: "If you were hoping for a way around the unpleasant emotions that accompany the delivery of bad news, I'll have to disappoint you, because there isn't one," says Geoffrey Tumlin, who heads Austin-based communications firm Mouthpeace Communications and wrote a new book called Stop Talking, Start Communicating: Counterintuitive Secrets to Success in Business and in Life.
亲爱的“管理层信使”:“如果你想找到某种方法来避免传达坏消息时的不愉快情绪,我恐怕要让你失望了,因为这种方法并不存在”,杰弗里•图姆林说。图姆林是总部位于奥斯丁的沟通管理公司Mouthpeace Communications的CEO。图姆林还写了一本新书,书名为《停止说话、开始沟通:职业与人生成功的反直觉秘诀》(Stop Talking, Start Communicating: Counterintuitive Secrets to Success in Business and in Life)。

Tumlin gets where you're coming from. He is often called in when managers have put off doing the inevitable for so long that whole teams and departments have crashed. "It's amazing to see how problems can cascade through an organization because no one wants to get rid of a problem employee," he says. At the same time, he understands why bosses like your predecessor procrastinate: "Firing people is hard."
图姆林非常理解你的处境。每当公司管理者一再推迟告诉员工坏消息,以至于整个团队或部门都被拖垮后,人们就会找图姆林来扭转局面。图姆林说:“很神奇的是,一点小问题就能把公司拖到要垮的程度,而原因仅仅是没人愿意开除问题员工。”然而同时,他也理解管理者们(比如你的前任)一再拖延传达坏消息的原因:“解雇别人是一件艰难的事情”。

Nothing can make it easier, but Tumlin offers four tips for getting it done:
没有什么方法能使这件事变得更容易。但图姆林还是给出了四条建议:

1. Get straight to your core message. "Your core message is easy to identify, because it's always the thing you don't want to say -- whether it's 'We're switching vendors' or 'We have to let you go' or 'We should stop seeing each other,'" Tumlin says. So get straight to the point. "Trying to sugarcoat it won't help, and may even confuse the other person, which just makes it harder for them," he notes.
1.直奔主题。“主题很好识别,它总是你说不出的那句话——有可能是‘我们要换供应商了’,也可能是‘我们得开除你’,或者‘我们不要再见面了’,”图姆林说。因此还是直奔主题吧。他说:“想说得好听一点没有用,反而可能使听者感到困惑,以至于接受事实对他们来说更加艰难。”

2. Stick to your guns. If you've ever been talked out of a decision, you already know how tough this one can be. "People will say things like, 'But we've worked together for 15 years! You're not really letting me go, are you?'" notes Tumlin. "Or they will try to talk about the reasons. But resist the temptation to get pushed, cajoled, or charmed off your message."
2.坚持到底。如果你有被说服放弃一个决定的经历,你就知道坚持到底有多么艰难了。“他们会说,‘可是我们一起工作15年了!你不是真的要我走人吧?’”,图姆林说。“或者他们会问你这么做的原因。但是一定要抵抗住诱惑,不要因为被逼迫、哄诱或被别人的魅力所折服而败下阵来。”

3. Explain yourself, but not too much. Tumlin recommends fitting the message and the reason for it into a single sentence -- for instance, "We're letting you go because we're taking this whole department in a different direction." If you want to say more, that's okay, "but do it by repeating the point. Don't add any new information, or you'll encourage the discussion to drift away from what you need to say."
3.解释原因,但不要解释太多。图姆林建议用一句简单的话来概括你的决定和这么做的原因——比如,“我们解雇你是因为要改变整个部门的发展方向”。你想多说一些也可以,“但是要反复陈述一个原因。不要增加其它信息,否则谈话会偏离正轨。”

4. Get out of the conversation. Letting the discussion drag on is usually a mistake, Tumlin says. "Naturally you can answer factual questions like, 'When's my last day?' or 'What happens to my 401(k)?' or offer to get any practical answers you don't have," Tumlin says. "But beware of trying to answer any speculative or probing questions, again because they can confuse the issue and drag you away from your point."
4.结束谈话。没完没了地讨论通常是失策的行为,图姆林说。“你可以自然地回答一些事实性的问题,比如‘我哪天离开?’,或者‘我的401K保险怎么办?’如果你不知道某个事实性的答案,也可以主动提出帮忙询问,”图姆林说。“但需注意,不要回答任何推测性或试探性的问题,原因还是一样:你的回答会混淆问题,导致谈话偏离正轨。”

In this situation, Tumlin adds, "It's a simple formula: Be clear, be concise, and be gone." The not-so-hot evaluations you'll have to deliver are, however, a different story. "An evaluation, even a negative one, is really the opposite of firing someone," he notes. "That's because it should be an ongoing discussion, not a one-time event, and because you're hoping to keep the people you'll be speaking with, assuming they can get better at their jobs."
图姆林补充说,在这种情况下,“有一个简单的公式,那就是:清晰、简要、结束。”然而,传达不那么敏感的评估结果,就是另一回事了。“传达评估结果,即使是负面的,也与解雇完全不同,”图姆林指出。“这是因为,传达评估结果不是单一的事件,而是持续的交流。你的愿望是对方能够留下来,前提是他们能改进工作。”

With that in mind, Tumlin advises you get the firings over with first, and then wait a bit before giving feedback, for two reasons. First, firing someone -- say, an employee who's a known slacker -- is a form of feedback to the whole team, he points out. "Everyone will be watching, of course, so give it a couple of weeks and see how that percolates through," he says. "You may find that some people's behavior changes for the better." If so, you'll have one less tough topic to tackle.
考虑到这一点,图姆林建议你先解雇需要开除的员工,一段时间之后,再对其余员工进行批评。原因有二。首先,图姆林指出,对于整个团队来说,解雇某人——比如某个众所周知的懒怠员工——已经是某种形式的反馈。“所有人理所当然都会看到这件事,因此可以等上几个星期,看看这事会起到什么效果,”图姆林说。“你可能会发现,某些员工表现变好了。”如果确实如此,你需要处理的棘手问题就又少了一个。

Second, Tumlin says, evaluations that make a difference require specific examples of the behavior you want to change. "The least effective feedback is always too general, like 'You're not good with clients.' That doesn't tell the other person anything useful, and it's too easy to dismiss," Tumlin says. Instead, a particular example -- "You talked over Client A in that meeting last Tuesday" -- tells exactly where an employee needs to focus her efforts.
其次,图姆林说,想要批评发挥作用,你必须指明想要别人改变的具体行为。“太笼统的反馈通常是最无效的,比如‘你不擅长和客户打交道’。这句话没有给员工任何有用的信息,也很容易被忽视,”图姆林说。相反,一个具体的例子——“你在上周二的会议上打断了客户甲的发言”——确切地指出了员工需要在哪方面做出更多努力。

"You're new in this job, so maybe you don't have an example yet. But if you want these evaluations to matter, wait until you do," says Tumlin. "It shouldn't take long."
“你刚开始做这份工作,因此可能还没碰到过类似的例子。但想要对员工的批评发挥作用,你最好等遇到类似的例子再提,”图姆林说。“应该不用太久,你就会碰到。”

Talkback: If you've ever been fired or had to fire someone, what made the bad news more (or less) bearable? What was the most useful evaluation you ever got? Leave a comment below.
反馈:你有没有被解雇过,或者有没有解雇过别人?哪一点使这个坏消息更加(或不那么)令人难以接受?你得到过的最有用的批评是什么?请在下面发表你的评论。



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