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2014-05-30    来源:向Anne提问    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


Dear Annie: A friend sent me a recent Fortune article about how women need to learn to "conquer confidence killers" in order to be more visible at work. I can really identify with that, even though I'm a guy, because I have always been too self-conscious to speak up and express my ideas. (Even as a student, I never raised my hand in class.)
亲爱的安妮:一位朋友发给我一篇您最近在《财富》杂志(Fortune )上的专栏文章,内容是关于女性应该学会如何“克服信心杀手”,以提高自己在职场上的知名度。虽然我是男性,但我非常认同您的观点,因为我总是太腼腆,不敢大声表达自己的观点。(上学的时候,我都没在课堂上举过手。)

The reason I'm writing to you is that just this morning, for the thousandth time, I was in a meeting where I thought I had a great solution to a complicated problem my team is facing, and I was right. How do I know? Because I didn't say a word, but the guy sitting next to me suggested the same thing I was thinking -- and, as a result, got put in charge of a project I'd love to have been assigned. It's clear that, if I'm ever going to get anywhere at this company, I have to start talking more, but how? Do you or your readers have any practical suggestions? -- Quiet Man

Dear Q.M.: "The average employee spends about one-third of his or her work week in meetings, so they're the best opportunity you have to make your expertise known," notes Joel Garfinkle, an executive coach who has worked with dozens of managers who, like you, were reluctant to share their ideas at Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL), Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT), and many other companies. Garfinkle also wrote a terrifically practical book you might want to check out, Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level.
亲爱的Q.M.:乔尔•加芬克尔说过:“员工平均每周将大约三分之一的工作时间用于开会,所以要想让自己的专业知识为人所知,会议是最好的时机。”加芬克尔是一名高管导师,曾指导过数十名像你一样不愿分享自己想法的管理者,他们来自谷歌(Google)、苹果(Apple)、甲骨文(Oracle)、微软(Microsoft)和许多其他公司。此外,加芬克尔还写过一本非常实用的书,或许会对你有所帮助,书名叫《领先之道:三步提升职业发展》(Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level)。

People hesitate to speak up for all kinds of reasons, he observes, ranging from simple shyness, to perfectionism (wanting to have all the details nailed down before saying anything), to fear of confrontation (the belief that disagreeing, especially with a boss, is too risky). But, whatever is holding you back, Garfinkle offers these seven suggestions:

1. Don't underestimate the value of your ideas. As you noticed (again) in that meeting where the other guy got the plum assignment, you do have a lot to contribute. So, before your next meeting, give yourself a little pep talk. "Remind yourself of your capability and knowledge," says Garfinkle. "Others believed in you enough to help you reach your current level. Now it's your turn to believe in yourself."
1. 不要妄自菲薄,低估自己想法的价值。在你心仪已久的职位被别人抢走的那次会议上,你肯定(再一次)注意到,你确实有许多很好的想法。所以,下一次开会之前,对自己讲一些鼓舞士气的话。加芬克尔建议:“提醒自己所拥有的能力和知识。曾经因为别人的信任,你走到了现在。而眼下是该你相信自己的时候了。”

2. Be among the first to speak. "Look for opportunities in each meeting to make your presence known early on, ideally in the first 10 minutes," Garfinkle suggests -- even if your remarks are just agreeing with, or adding a bit more information to, what someone else has said. Why? "The sooner you contribute, the less time you have to generate self-doubt," he says. "When you delay saying anything, it gets harder to break into the discussion."
2. 率先发言。加芬克尔建议:“每次开会的时候,都要寻找机会,尽早让其他人注意到你的存在,理想的时间是在会议开始后的十分钟内。”就算你的观点只是赞同其他人的观点,或添加一点信息而已。为什么呢?他解释道:“因为越早表达出自己的观点,留给自己产生自我怀疑的时间就越少。如果你总是推迟表达观点的时间,你就越难参与到讨论中去。”

3. Choose a topic ahead of time. Pick out one item on the agenda that's important to you and prepare in advance, so you'll be ready to chime in when the subject arises. As you get more accustomed to talking, you can do this with several topics, but starting with just one will build your confidence.
3. 提前选好一个议题。从会议日程当中选择一个对你非常重要的项目,提前进行准备,如此一来,提到这个议题的时候,你才有机会发言。当你逐渐习惯了发言之后,可以增加更多议题,但最开始的时候只针对一个议题发言会助于你建立自信。

4. Ask questions. One of the easiest ways to get more comfortable with speaking is to ask others to elaborate on a point they've made that interests you. "By probing a little more deeply into someone else's comment, you'll feel engaged and become an active participant," Garfinkle says. You could even learn something new that might turn out to be important.
4. 提出问题。要想更加习惯发言,有一个最简单的方法,就是其他人提出的某个观点令你感兴趣时,要求对方对这一点进行详细阐述。加芬克尔称:“通过更加深入地探讨其他人的意见,你会觉得自己已经参与其中,进而成为一名积极主动的参与者。”你甚至可能从中学到一些对你来说非常重要的新东西。

5. Don't censor yourself. "Commit beforehand to expressing at least one idea that pops into your head" at each meeting, he suggests, without second-guessing yourself or pausing while you edit what you'll say. Once this becomes a habit, Garfinkle says that "your ability to jump into a conversation without preparing first will overcome any lingering fears" of saying the wrong thing.
5. 不要自我审查。他建议:“每次开会前,承诺至少要说出一个自己想到的观点,”而不是在思考如何发言的时候,还要做自我批评或者干脆停下来。加芬克尔表示,一旦形成了一种习惯,“当你具备无需事先准备也能参与讨论的能力后,就能克服怕说错话的担忧了。”

6. Recognize that disagreements are inevitable -- and useful. Garfinkle cites research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology that concluded that "even when [dissenting] points of view are wrong, they cause the rest of the group to think better, to create more solutions, and to improve the creativity of problem-solving." So don't hesitate to respectfully raise a different point of view.
6. 承认不同意见不可避免——而且它们非常有用。加芬克尔引用了《应用心理学杂志》(Journal of Applied Psychology)发表的一项研究,研究得出的结论称:“即便反对的观点是错误的,也能引发其他人更全面的思考,进而产生更多解决方案,提高解决问题的创造力。”所以,不要犹豫,抱着尊敬的态度提出自己的不同观点。

7. Don't give your power away. "It's common in meetings to defer to a boss, others higher up in the organization, or someone who intimidates you," Garfinkle notes. "However, you may be giving your power away in the process. Senior executives will notice when someone -- especially a so-called underling -- stands firm with his or her own ideas. So look for opportunities to showcase your strengths and competencies."
7. 不要放弃自己的权利。加芬克尔发现:“开会时屈从于老板或其他高层,或受到其他人胁迫时,人们通常都会选择顺从。但在这个过程中,你其实是放弃了自己的权利。事实上,如果有人——尤其是所谓的下属——坚持自己的观点,通常都会引起高层的关注。所以,要抓住机会展示自己的实力和能力。”

Of course, all of this will take a bit of time and practice, especially since you're trying to change a long-entrenched habit of keeping your thoughts to yourself. But it's worth the effort. Not only will breaking your silence probably help your career, but, Garfinkle notes, "if you don't share your knowledge and opinions, you're really doing the meeting -- and the entire organization -- a disservice." Good luck!

Talkback: Have you overcome a reluctance to express your ideas in meetings? How did you do it? Leave a comment below.

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