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员工给管理顾问提建议要讲技巧

2014-06-10    来源:财富网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

一旦公司出了问题,有些管理层就倾向于从外面聘请管理顾问来解决方案。问题是,有些空降的所谓专家甚至还不如公司内部的员工了解问题的症结所在,因此,他们给出的解决方案要么不切实际,要么简单粗暴。这时候,员工就得有技巧地提出自己的建议。

Dear Annie: I work as a first-line supervisor at a company that has been through three different restructurings in the past five years. Each time, a team of management consultants has been brought in to come up with solutions to our problems and, each time, they offer recommendations that are either unworkable or blindingly obvious to anyone who really knows the business (i.e., us). Why? Because they either don't ask us for our suggestions, or else they ignore the information employees give them.
亲爱的安妮:我在一家公司担任一线管理人员。这家公司在过去五年经历了三次重组。每次重组,公司都会聘用管理顾问团队,针对我们的问题提出解决方案。然而,他们每次提供的建议在真正懂行的人(比如我们)看来,要么完全不可行,要么就是再简单不过的方案。为什么?因为他们从来不会征求我们的意见,或者他们干脆对员工们提供的建议视而不见。

Now, it seems to be happening again. The current crop of "experts" is wet behind the ears, and they are certainly putting in long hours, but from what I can tell so far, they're concentrating on the wrong issues. I've complained to my boss about this, but he's drinking the Kool-Aid and doesn't want to hear it. Why do consultants operate this way, seemingly in defiance of common sense, and is it worth trying to influence the outcome, or should I just keep quiet and go along (again)? I'd love to hear what your readers think about this. – Invaded
如今,同样的情况似乎又将再次上演。这帮所谓的“专家”根本没有实践经验,虽然他们确实投入了大量时间,但根据我的观察,他们压根没有找到问题的症结所在。我曾就此向老板提出意见,但他现在只听这些“专家”们的,根本不想听我的。顾问们为什么会这么做?他们的做法似乎完全违反了常识。如果我站出来,是否值得?或者我应该(再次)保持沉默和合作?我想听听您的读者都会有什么样的意见。——敌占区。

Dear Invaded: Your dilemma is far from unusual. In fact, Karen Phelan wrote a whole book about it. A former consultant with Deloitte & Touche and Gemini Consulting, Phelan has also held executive jobs at two Fortune 500 companies, so she's been on both sides of this situation. Her book, I'm Sorry I Broke Your Company: When Management Consultants Are the Problem, Not the Solution, is packed with vivid examples of consulting gigs gone wrong and examines in detail why one-size-fits-all problem solving so often falls short.
亲爱的敌占区:你的困境其实非常普遍。实际上,凯伦•费伦曾专门针对这个问题写过一本书。费伦曾担任过德勤会计师事务所(Deloitte & Touche)与双子星顾问公司(Gemini Consulting)的顾问,还曾在两家《财富》500强公司(Fortune 500)担任过高管职位,因此,对于你目前的状况,她对双方的立场都有所了解。她在自己的著作《对不起,我毁了你的公司——当管理顾问成为问题》(I'm Sorry I Broke Your Company: When Management Consultants Are the Problem, Not the Solution)中引用了大量顾问出错的生动案例,还详细分析了 “一刀切”的解决途径为何往往不起作用。

"There are good consultants and bad consultants," Phelan says. "Good consulting is a combination of detective work, counseling, and in-depth industry knowledge." Such knowledge can really only come from experience. And the bad kind? "Bright, highly educated young kids -- and I know, because I was one -- who lack real expertise but who come in and impose a standard methodology they've been trained by their firms to use." Sound familiar?
费伦说:“顾问有好有坏。好的顾问结合了侦探工作、咨询服务和深入的行业知识。”而这些知识只能从经验中获得。坏的顾问呢?“接受过高等教育的聪明的年轻人——我之所以知道,因为我之前便是这样——缺乏真正的专业知识,来到一家公司之后,执行的都是标准的方法,完全是他们公司培训的那一套。”听起来耳熟吧?

In the second instance, consultants don't "find the root causes of a problem before they 'solve' it," Phelan notes. "This is where the counseling aspect [of good consulting] comes in. In lots of companies that are struggling, people aren't talking to each other, or they're not having the right conversations."
其次,顾问“在‘解决’问题之前,找不到问题的根本缘由,”费伦说道。“而这正是(一名好的顾问)提供咨询服务的必要之处。在许多面临困境的公司,人们彼此之间通常不会交流,或者他们根本无法进行恰当的沟通。”

A frequent result: After the consultants have packed up and left, "no one knows what to do, because the right employees were not involved in designing the new strategy. So the only people who can put the recommendations into practice are more consultants." Sometimes, Phelan contends, this "cycle of dependency" is deliberate: "It leads to more fees."
最常见的结果是:顾问收拾东西离开之后,“没有人知道该做什么,因为适当的员工并没有参与新策略的设计。结果,唯一能够把建议付诸实施的办法就只能使聘请更多顾问。”费伦认为,有时候,这种“依赖关系循环”完全是人为造成的:“它会产生更多费用。”

Bad consultants often dismiss the concerns of people like you, Phelan adds, by saying that employees just don't like change. "Nothing could be further from the truth. People love change. Otherwise no one would ever go away to college, get married, have a child, move, or switch jobs," she says. "What people do not like is having questionable changes thrust upon them."
费伦补充道,糟糕的顾问经常会忽略像你一样的员工们的担忧,他们会说员工根本不想改变。她说:“事实完全不是这样。人们喜欢改变。否则就不会有人去上大学、结婚生子、搬家或换工作了。而被强迫进行有问题的变化,才是人们所不喜欢的。”

If you want to avoid that, this time around, you're going to have to speak up. "Usually, no one even tries to bring up information that's contrary to what the consultants think, because they just assume they'll be shot down," says Phelan. But -- and it's a big, crucial "but" -- how you speak up is just as important, if not more important, than what you actually say. When employees do try to influence consultants, they too often approach the discussion "by tearing down what's going on, saying things like, 'This is so stupid, it will never work,' and so on," Phelan says. "That will just get you tuned out."
如果你希望这一次能够避免发生同样的情况,就必须大声说出自己的观点。费伦说:“通常情况下,没有人会尝试提出与顾问想法相悖的信息,因为他们会假设自己的观点将被彻底否决。”然而,需要特别注意的是,发表意见的方式与意见本身同样重要。员工在尝试影响顾问时,通常会“以全盘否定顾问当前的工作作为讨论的开场白,比如他们会说:‘这种做法太蠢了,根本不可能奏效’等等,”费伦说。“如果是这样,自然没有人愿意听取你的意见。”

Instead, she suggests meeting with the consulting team and putting your request to participate "in positive, constructive terms. If employees' input is taken into account, it will not only make the outcome better, it will make the consultants' job easier. Frame your suggestions not as criticism but as an offer to improve the process. It would be unusual for that to be ignored."
相反,她建议与顾问团队面对面,“以一种积极的、富有建设性的方式表达自己希望参与的请求。如果员工的建议被考虑在内,不仅有利于改善最终的结果,也会使顾问的工作更加轻松。仔细斟酌自己的建议,不要让其变成批评,而是希望改进流程的意向。这样一来,你的建议通常都会得到重视。”

Phelan also thinks you should try to engage your boss again in helping you get your points across. "Your boss may seem to have drunk the Kool-Aid, but often managers feel it's part of their job to seem as if they have. So they put up a bit of a front," Phelan notes. And, unfortunately, the complaining you say you've already done may have made your boss even more defensive.
此外,费伦还认为,你应该再次说服你的老板,帮你传达你的观点。“你的老板只听从顾问们的意见,这可能只是一个表面现象;事实上,管理者们经常认为,装装样子有时也是自己工作的一部分。”不过,不幸的是,你说自己已经提出了意见,这可能会让你的老板表现出更强的防御性。

"Try reframing your concerns in a less hostile way," Phelan says. "Say something positive like, 'I just think this would work even better if we had some input.'" Not only are your ideas more likely to get a fair hearing, but a more upbeat approach is smarter politics, too: Griping doesn't make you look like a team player. Offering your help does.
费伦称:“尽量以一种不太有敌意的方式表达自己的担忧。说一些积极的话,比如:‘我只是认为,这样会比我们现在所做的效果更好。’”这样一来,不仅你的观点更可能得到公正的对待,而且一种更加积极向上的方式也更加明智:发牢骚不会让你更具团队精神。而主动提供帮助则更能表现出你的团队精神。

One technique Phelan has seen employees use successfully: Put up a big flip-pad of paper or a white board" in some centrally located place in the office where everyone can see it, and write a particular issue or suggestion on it. Then leave markers or Post-Its there so people can add their own suggestions and comments. It's simple, but it gets everyone involved, and it's very visible." She adds that "the number of Post-Its or comments is a tangible gauge of how important each topic is, and how much engagement there is, from the people in the company who are closest to the actual work."
费伦发现,员工们使用的较为成功的一种技巧是:在办公室里所有人都能看到的中心位置,摆一个巨大的纸板或白板,“在上面写上具体的问题或对问题的建议。留下马克笔或便利贴,这样其他人便可以补充自己的建议与意见。这种做法非常简单,但却能让所有人参与其中,而且非常引人注目。”她补充说:“便利贴或者意见的数量就是一个有形的指标,可以衡量每个话题的重要性,以及公司里真正接触实际工作的人有多高的积极性。”

Good luck.
祝你好运!

Talkback: If you've worked with consultants, have you managed to get your ideas included in their recommendations? How did you do it? Leave a comment below.
反馈:如果你曾与顾问打过交道,你会如何让他们在建议中接纳你的观点?你是如何做到的?欢迎评论。(财富中文网)



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