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2014-07-22    来源:向Anne提问    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


Dear Annie: A friend of mine sent me your column about toning down political arguments at work, but my problem is a little different. The people I work with don't fight about politics (I wish they would -- at least it might be a substantive discussion.), but they are just rude and obnoxious to each other all the time, often in the guise of "humor." Some days I feel like a contestant on a reality TV show where whoever makes the most outrageous comment wins.

I came here from a company where the culture was totally different -- amazingly, people there went out of their way to be nice -- so this is a shock. The worst part is, I think it's rubbing off on me, since my wife tells me I am nastier than I was before I started working here. I've tried talking to my boss about it but she says I am "oversensitive." Do you and your readers have any suggestions on how to deal with this? — Survivor

Dear Survivor: Cold comfort though it may be, you are not the only one wondering. A raft of recent research suggests that rudeness is on the rise. About 40% of employed Americans report that incivility has pervaded their workplaces in the past few years, says one study by communications firms Powell Tate and Weber Shandwick, and 67% think that formal training in common courtesy might help.
亲爱的幸存者: 如果这么说能给你一点安慰的话,我可以告诉你,你并不是唯一一个有这种困惑的职场人士。近年来的大量研究显示,粗鲁行为呈现上升之势。传播公司Powell Tate和万博宣伟(Weber Shandwick)的一项研究显示,约40%的美国职场人表示,近几年来粗鲁行为在工作场所有抬头之势,67%的人认为提供正式的常规礼仪培训或许能够有所帮助。

Moreover, your boss should think twice about pooh-poohing your concern. The Harvard Business Review published research a few months ago suggesting that endemic meanness damages productivity: Half of the employees studied who experienced nastiness at work intentionally cut down on the amount of effort they put into their jobs, and over a third admitted that the quality of their work took a nosedive.
而且,你的老板在对你的担忧嗤之以鼻前应该三思。《哈佛商业评论》(Harvard Business Review)几个月前发布了一项研究称,普遍存在的粗鲁行为会降低生产率:在工作场所遭遇粗暴相待的员工们有一半会故意降低工作的卖力程度,超过1/3承认工作质量会急剧下降。

"Rudeness and disrespect undermine teams and organizations over time," notes Jeff Cohen, a longtime human resources consultant based in New York who has coached irascible executives and dysfunctional teams at General Electric (GE), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), and many other big companies. "Constantly dealing with negativity and conflict is an extraordinarily stressful situation. It becomes toxic, and it can lead to more absenteeism, higher turnover, less productivity, even outright sabotage."
“粗鲁,不尊重他人,长此以往都会损害团队和组织,”多年从事人力资源工作的顾问杰夫•科恩说。他常驻纽约,曾在通用电气(General Electric)、强生(Johnson & Johnson)、摩根大通(J.P. Morgan Chase)等很多大公司通过培训帮助暴躁易怒的高管和涣散失谐的团队。科恩称:“经常面对负面问题和冲突,这样的环境会让人倍感压力。它会毒害(团队和组织),导致缺勤率和人员流失率上升,生产率下降,甚至赤裸裸的破坏行为。”

Why is rudeness so much more prevalent than it used to be? Cohen believes that your comparison of your office to a reality show is not far off the mark. "A lot of the decline in civility in the culture as a whole has to do with who our role models are, particularly who gets the most media attention," he observes. "The Kardashians, Charlie Sheen, the people on hit shows like 'Dance Moms' and 'Bridezilla' -- the more mean-spirited they are, the more attention they get. So being mean has become much more socially acceptable. Kindness and courtesy are no longer the expected norm."
为什么职场中的粗鲁行为越来越常见?科恩认为,你把自己现在的工作环境比作真人秀有一定的道理。“整个社会文化中,文明让位于粗鲁很大程度上与我们的行为榜样有关,特别是媒体热点人物,”他说。“卡戴珊姐妹(The Kardashians)、查理•辛、 热门电视节目《舞蹈妈妈》(Dance Moms)和《新娘酷斯拉》(Bridezilla)里的人们言语举止越是出位,就能获得越多关注。因此,粗鲁行为的社会接受度有所上升。友善礼貌不再是期待的行为标准。”

How this plays out in a business environment, Cohen says, is that "there are no adverse consequences for being nasty. If your boss is rude, or tolerates rudeness from others, you will feel it is the way to get ahead. And everyone will just keep it up until someone takes a stand and says, 'Hey, this is just not acceptable.'"

Launching a one-man crusade against incivility may seem quixotic, but Cohen suggests these three tactics:

1. Be direct (and polite). Hard as it may be to fathom, "many people are truly not aware that they are being rude, or that their rudeness makes you uncomfortable," Cohen says. So consider taking the worst offenders aside, one by one, and "in a non-accusing, non-confrontational way, just tell them that, when they speak to you or to each other in a rude, hostile way, it makes it harder for you to get your work done." You may have to have this conversation more than once, but eventually it might sink in.
1. 直截了当,同时不失礼貌。或许这很难理解,但科恩说:“很多人确实不知道自己的行为是粗鲁的,或者他们的粗鲁让你感到不舒服。”因此,不妨找问题最严重的几个人单独谈谈,“不要用批评、对立的方式。只要告诉他们,当他们用粗鲁、充满敌意的方式和你讲话时,增加了你完成工作的难度。”谈一次可能还不够,但慢慢地就会收到效果。

2. Befriend the most belligerent. It may help to find out more about the people whose rudeness grates on you the most, Cohen says: "Discover their positive side, maybe over lunch or coffee. Understand if something is bothering them, maybe trouble at home." Being nice, like being nasty, is often contagious. It's easier to be rude to someone you don't know very well, he adds, so turning obnoxious coworkers into buddies may help civilize the atmosphere. It's worth a try.
2. 友善待人最聪明。有些人的粗鲁举止让你难以忍受,不妨尝试着多去了解他们一些,这样或许会有帮助。科恩说:“找机会发现他们积极的一面,比如在午餐或咖啡时间。了解是不是有什么东西正在困扰他们,比如家庭问题。”友善就像粗鲁一样,往往具有感染力。他说,人人往往容易对不怎么了解的人粗鲁相待。因此,如果把令人反感的同事变成朋友,可能有助于改善氛围。值得一试。

3. Find out if formal training or coaching is available. In many large companies, so-called team-building training is often a euphemism for coaching in common courtesy, Cohen notes. "It's called collaboration training. Very early in the process, everyone gets a chance to speak up about what is getting in the way of the team's performance" -- including pervasive disrespect and meanness. "The group then draws up a list of ground rules in writing, not dictated by management or HR, which everyone agrees to," he says. "It becomes self-monitoring."
3. 看看是否有正式的培训或指导。科恩表示,在很多大公司里,所谓的团队建设培训往往就是训练常规礼仪的委婉语。“它被称为合作培训。一开始,让每个人都有机会谈谈,什么因素会影响团队的表现”——包括普遍存在的不尊重人和粗鲁举止。“然后,由团队共同起草一些基本规则,白纸黑字,不是管理层或人力资源部门一手包办,而是所有人的共识,”他说。“这样,它就会形成一种自我监控。”

If you're going to approach human resources (and of course your boss) to propose this, Cohen adds, "frame it as, 'I think we could perform a lot better as a team if we had some collaboration training.' You'll get a much warmer reception than if you spell out that you're hoping to make your colleagues less nasty."

If all else fails, you have two choices: Learn to ignore the crass culture there, and make a conscious effort not to let it drag you down; or else find some way to get out, either by moving somewhere else in the company or finding a job elsewhere (which may be easier than you think, and well worth the effort). Good luck.

Talkback: Has rudeness and disrespect increased where you work? If so, how do you respond to it? Leave a comment below.

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