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双语:冲突比客套更有必要

2014-09-23    来源:fortunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

双语:冲突比客套更有必要

双语:不惜一切代价保持友好的文化,反而会扼杀合作。本文将介绍如何鼓励不同意见的存在。

Dear Annie: I was recently transferred here from another part of the company and put in charge of developing a new product. It’s pretty exciting, or has the potential to be, but I’m running into a weird problem. The two teams responsible for collaborating on this project do not get along—each team thinks the other has set impossible deadlines, for one thing—and lately people have started coming into my office to make snide comments about the “other side.”
亲爱的安妮:我近期经历了工作调动,现在主管新产品开发工作。这是(可能成为)令人兴奋的事,但是我碰到一个奇怪的问题。参与项目合作的两个团队相处得不好:各方都认为对方设置的最后期限不切实际,而且最近他们都来我办公室讽刺挖苦“对方”。

This sounds infantile, I know, but there is a longstanding culture here of everyone being nice and polite all the time (at least to each other’s faces), even when they can’t stand each other. Our HR department offers training in conflict resolution, but there is no actual conflict; just this atmosphere of antagonism and distrust. Do you or your readers have any suggestions on how to handle this? —In the Crossfire
我知道这听起来很幼稚,但是公司长期以来形成一种文化,即使同事之间不能相互忍受,每个人总是表现得很友好(至少当面如此)。公司的人事部开设了冲突解决培训课程,但是培训内容不涉及实际冲突,只是涉及这种敌对和不信任的氛围。您或您的读者对此有何建议?——I.C.

Dear I.C.: It sounds as if the real problem here is that people are bringing their complaints to you instead of being honest with each other. That’s not unusual. In too many workplaces, says Yves Morieux, colleagues try to keep up a façade of niceness because it’s more pleasant. But friction, however stressful, is sometimes what a project needs.
亲爱的I.C.:看来你遇到的真正问题,是同事之间不能坦诚相待,而是向你提出他们的抱怨。这种情况非常常见。伊夫•莫里厄表示,在许多工作场所,同事之间努力保持表面上的友好,因为这样让人觉得更愉快。尽管摩擦带来压力,但有时这正是项目需要的氛围。

“When people are arguing with each other, it’s not necessarily worse than ‘getting along,’” he says. “In fact, real cooperation depends on disagreements, tensions, and tradeoffs.”
“当同事之间相互争论时,不一定比‘和睦相处’产生更坏的结果。”他表示,“事实上,不同意见、紧张和权衡是真正合作的基础。”

A partner at Boston Consulting Group and co-author of a new book, Six Simple Rules, Morieux has worked with plenty of companies where too much harmony masked big problems that were only resolved once people started yelling at each other.
莫里厄是波士顿咨询公司(Boston Consulting Group)的合伙人,也是新书《六个简单法则》(Six Simple Rules)的合著者。他拥有与多家公司共事的经验。在此期间,太多的和谐掩盖了重大问题,而这些问题只有在人们相互争论时才能得到解决。

One example from the book: At a cell phone network where several engineering teams were at odds, senior management put them together—and put the least popular group in charge—so they’d have no choice but to hash out issues like unworkable deadlines. The discussions were unavoidably heated at times, but being forced to talk through everyone’s needs and constraints led to schedules that worked.
引用书中的一个案例:某移动通信网络的多个工程团队争执不休,高层管理人员把他们召集在一起,并让最不受欢迎的团队负责。这样一来,他们不得不讨论解决各种问题,例如不切实际的最后期限问题。讨论有时很激烈,这是不可避免的。但是,在被迫详细讨论各方的需求和限制条件后,他们制定了有效的日程安排。

Morieux suggests you do something similar with your warring teams. He recommends starting with these three steps:
莫里厄建议,你可以在你的敌对团队中采取类似的做法。他建议分三步进行:

•Stop making confrontation taboo.This may take some patience, as the culture up until now has been built on avoiding conflict. But people have to see that you mean it, and that you will no longer tolerate snide remarks behind closed doors. “Bring the two sides together and ask them why there has been no solution yet to the disagreements between them,” he suggests. “Usually each side will blame the other—the other team is stubborn, inflexible, lazy, a bunch of prima donnas, whatever.” That’s fine. “It’s important to get tensions and even anger out on the table, where everyone can see them.”
•不再忌讳敌对。因为现有文化建立在避免冲突的基础之上,所以这需要一定的耐心。但是要让他们看到你是认真的,而且你不再容忍私下的“冷嘲热讽”。他建议,“把双方聚在一起,询问他们为什么未就不同意见达成解决方案。通常情况下,双方会相互指责——对方团队顽固、不妥协、懒惰、自负等等。”这些都没有关系。“把紧张甚至愤怒摊开来说,这样每个人都能意识到,这一点很重要。”

•Objectify the issues.The only ground rule is a ban on personal attacks. Apart from that, honesty rules. “This is a business problem. How can we make this project work better? What are the specific problems that are standing in the way?” Morieux says. “Require that everyone stick with the facts. What is the ideal deadline for each of them? Then, what is actually achievable?”
•客观对待问题。禁止人身攻击,这是唯一的基本原则。除此之外,诚实决定一切。“这是一个商业问题。我们如何使项目更好地开展?阻碍项目进展的具体问题是什么?”莫里厄指出,“要求每个人都实事求是。每个问题理想的最后期限是什么时候?另外,切实可行的最后期限是什么时候?”

•Dive into the details.“Ask each side why a particular sticking point is important to them—for instance, why they need the other team to meet a given deadline,” says Morieux. A disagreement will usually be resolved much faster, and with less resentment, if everyone understands why it matters.
•研究细节。“向各方询问某个关键点对他们来说为什么如此重要——例如,他们为什么要求对方满足特定的最后期限。”莫里厄表示。如果每个人认识到问题的重要性,通常能更快地解决不同意见,引发的怨恨也更少。

These three steps could well be enough to get everyone pulling in the same direction. “Once the situation is presented as a business challenge, and people have a clear understanding of the real issues, they’ll usually come up with solutions,” Morieux notes.
以上三个步骤足以让所有人同心协力。“一旦把情况视为商业问题,而且人们清楚了解到真正的问题所在,他们通常会提出解决方案。”莫里厄表示。

What if they don’t? Morieux proposes a novel approach, beyond the usual management carrots and sticks. “Someone always bears the cost of failing to solve a problem,” he says. “Your job as a manager may be to make sure everyone knows in advance that, if a solution isn’t found because people haven’t been able to cooperate, the employee who is standing in the way will have to accept the consequences.”
如果他们没有做到,该怎么办?除了常用的软硬兼施管理方法外,莫里厄提出一个新方法。“要有人承担没能解决问题的后果。”他表示,“作为经理,你的职责是确保让每个人事先知道,如果由于不合作造成解决方案搁浅,阻碍解决问题的那个人需要承担后果。”

An example, from Six Simple Rules: A major automaker’s cars were notoriously hard to repair since, for instance, the wiring was arranged so that replacing the headlights meant removing the engine. The company sent the engineers who had created the problem to work in the service department for a while and hear firsthand how their design decisions affected irate technicians and unhappy customers.
引用《六个简单法则》中的一个案例:某主要汽车制造商的汽车很难维修,例如因为线路设置问题,更换前大灯时需要拆下发动机。公司安排造成问题的工程师暂时到服务部门工作,亲身了解他们的设计决策给郁闷的技术人员和不满的客户造成的影响。

Says Morieux,“If people know beforehand that—if they can’t work out the deadline problem—they may have to explain themselves face-to-face with angry people later on, they are motivated to reach a solution.” Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
莫里厄表示,“如果不能制定出最后期限,他们日后可能要当面向一群生气的同事做出解释。但如果事先知道这一点,他们就有动力达成解决方案。”我们不希望事情发展到那一步。

Talkback:Does your company encourage “getting along” even when being nice covers up important problems, or is conflict expected and encouraged? Leave a comment below. Have a career question for Anne Fisher? Email askannie@fortune.com.
反馈:当友好的氛围掩盖了重要的问题时,你所在的公司是鼓励“和睦相处”,还是鼓励适当的冲突呢?欢迎评论。(财富中文网)

翻译:乔树静/汪皓

antagonism n. 对抗,敌对;对立;敌意

inflexible adj. 顽固的;不可弯曲的;不屈挠的;不能转变的

prima adj. (意)第一的,主要的



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