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2014-03-05    来源:财富网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


Dear Annie:I volunteered to run a big, visible project that was something of a stretch assignment for me, and I took an approach that was radically different from anything that had been tried here before. I really thought it would work, and possibly even save a lot of time and money over what we had been expending on similar projects in the past.

Unfortunately, and without going into all the gory details, it's now becoming painfully obvious that my idea was a bust. The project is way behind schedule, and my boss has put someone else in charge to "get it back on track." Senior management at my company is always talking about risk as an essential part of innovation, "fail often and fail fast," etc. But I've never seen anyone here actually blow it like I just did, and I'm feeling like the office pariah. Now I'm wondering, can I recover from this and get my "street cred" back, or would it be smart to start job hunting? -- In the Doghouse

Dear I.D.:Whoa, don't start updating your resume just yet. "We all make mistakes, if we're going to learn anything," notes Roxana Hewertson, an executive coach who is president and CEO of Highland Consulting Group. "You'll never forget this one, so make the most of it."
亲爱的I.D.:先别着急更新简历。Highland咨询集团(Highland Consulting Group)总裁兼CEO、高管导师罗克珊娜•休尔森说:“只要想学东西,我们都会犯错误。这次失败会让你刻骨铭心,所以一定要充分利用它。”

That means putting your ego to the side and "truly understanding what you can learn from it, about yourself, and your business, in every way possible," she adds. Analyze exactly how and why your plan went off the rails, as calmly and dispassionately as you can. Then sit down with your boss, and perhaps the person now in charge of the project, outline why you thought your idea would work, and explain precisely why it didn't.

In this difficult conversation, as in so many others, attitude is everything. The wrong tone -- whether whiny, angry, or defensive -- can do way more harm than good to your already bruised reputation. Hewertson offers six tips for recovering from a flop:

1. Put all your cards on the table. "Even if you can, don't hide anything about what happened," Hewertson says. Anything less than total honesty is likely to make people start wondering if the situation is actually worse than it already looks.
1. 把问题摆到台面上。休尔森说:“就算你能隐瞒所发生的事情,也不要这么做。”如果不能做到完全诚实,会让人们禁不住怀疑,实际情况是不是比看起来更糟糕。

2. Have a heart-to-heart with your boss. As noted above, the emphasis here should be on what you've learned from this debacle, and about where he or she sees you going from here. If you have a good relationship with your manager, Hewertson recommends asking how he or she recovered from a mistake, at some point in the past. Everyone has made at least one (and often many), and sometimes they'll even tell you how they bounced back from it.
2. 与上司进行坦诚的交流。如上所述,重点是你从这次灾难性的经历中学到了什么,以及你的上司认为通过此次失败你会有怎样的转变。如果你与公司管理曾关系良好,休尔森建议,询问一下他或她是如何从过去的错误中恢复过来的。每个人至少都犯过一个(通常更多)错误,他们或许会告诉你如何从失败中走出来。

3. Own it. Whether a setback like this sinks you or not is "not really about the mistake at all," says Hewertson. "It's about your character and how you deal with it. In most cases, people will forgive an honest mistake if you own up to it." That takes a willingness to swallow a big gulp of humble pie -- including, Hewertson says, "no excuses, no justifications, and absolutely no blaming anyone else, even if there were in fact others who contributed to what went wrong".
3. 勇于承担责任。休尔森认为,这样的一次挫折会不会让你消沉,关键“不在于错误本身,而是你的个性和应对失败的方法。大多数情况下,如果你能主动承认错误,人们会因为你的诚实而原谅你。”但这需要有勇气,心甘情愿吞下苦果,包括“没有借口,没有辩解,不责怪其他任何人,哪怕事实上有人要为失败负一定责任,”休尔森说道。
4. Apologize. "If there were external, or even internal, customers who were adversely affected by what happened, you need to apologize to each of them. It's best to do this in person, not by email, if you possibly can," Hewertson says. "Then ask -- don't assume -- what you might be able to do to make it up to them."
4. 道歉。休尔森建议:“如果已经有外部、甚至内部的客户因为你的失败而受到影响,你应该向他们真诚道歉。最好的方式是亲自去道歉,而不是通过电子邮件。然后询问对方——不要自己设想——你能做些什么来弥补他们的损失。”

5. Think about solutions. Can you help correct the situation in some way? In your particular case, where you're no longer assigned to the project in question, that might be tough, but it's still worth looking into. If you haven't already done so, offering to help out the new project leader, in any way you can, would be both considerate and smart.
5. 考虑解决方案。你能帮助改变当前的情况吗?在你的案例中,你已经不再负责之前的项目,因此要实施这一点或许会有些困难,但对情况进行调查依然值得你去做。如果你尚未开始,主动提出你愿意为新项目负责人提供一切可能的帮助或许是明智的做法。

6. Share what you've learned. It's not inconceivable that someone else might come up with some of the same thoughts you had going in, so "tell others what you learned from this, so they don't have to have the same experience," Hewertson suggests. If you can write a blog post about it for your company's Intranet, or pen a piece for the company newsletter -- something like the anatomy-of-a-good-idea-gone-wrong pieces that turn up so frequently in the business press -- you could save someone else a similar stumble. You'd also be positioning yourself publicly as a risk-taker (although not, in this instance, a successful one), which could boost your "street cred," as you call it, in unexpected ways.
6. 分享自己从失败中学到的教训。如果有人产生与你相同的想法,这不足为奇,所以“把你从失败中学到的教训与其他人分享,避免他们重蹈你的覆辙,”休尔森建议道。如果能在公司局域网内写一篇与此有关的博客文章,或者写一篇公司时讯,比如商业新闻中经常出现的“好创意为什么遭遇滑铁卢”之类的文章,你便可以帮助其他人避免遭遇类似的失败。你也可以公开把自己定位成一名冒险者(虽然并不成功),这会以一种意想不到的方式提高你所说的“民间信誉”。

Once you've done all this, don't dwell on this one failed experiment. It doesn't define you. Move on. "There isn't a successful leader or entrepreneur alive who hasn't screwed up," says Hewertson. "It's what you learn from this that counts. And, if you show some humility and don't try to shift the blame to anyone else, people want to forgive you." After all, as your colleagues are no doubt well aware (or should be), the next time somebody drops the ball, it could be one of them.

Talkback:Have you ever made a big, visible mistake at work? How did you recover from it? Leave a comment below.

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