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双语:管理潮流“正念”是否只是昙花一现?

2014-10-09    来源:财富网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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双语:管理潮流“正念”是否只是昙花一现?

双语:“正念”管理法正风靡谷歌、苹果、麦肯锡和高盛等大公司。那么,究竟什么是正念?它是不是另一种只能流行一时的管理潮流?请您对照本文提出的四种可在办公室使用的正念技巧,亲身检验一下它的效用吧。

Dear Annie:What do you think about this idea called “mindfulness”? My team at work has a new boss who is always mentioning it, as in “Let’s try to be mindful about this” or “I want us to approach that as mindfully as we can.” Not wanting to admit I had no idea what he meant, I looked it up on Wikipedia and it’s evidently the practice of focusing on the present and comes from an ancient Buddhist meditation technique. Okay, but can you explain how it applies to, for example, marketing new financial instruments (which is what we do)? And do you and your readers think there is something to it, or is it just another management fad? — Skeptical Banker

Dear S.B.:Like so many workplace trends, this one swept Silicon Valley a few years ago and has since drifted eastward. There’s nothing new about Left Coast thinkers seeking enlightenment through Buddhist practices—Steve Jobs spent a lot of time with gurus in India, and he was married by a Zen priest. What is different about this, though, is that “mindfulness,” which is based on ancient Buddhist beliefs and backed up by cutting-edge neuroscience, has been adopted by so many big organizations.

Consider: Google not only offers mindfulness training in-house, but in 2012 it started a school called the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute to spread the technique to anyone who’s interested in it. Companies as different from each other as Apple, McKinsey, Procter & Gamble, General Mills, Ford, and Genentech are also teaching mindfulness, including meditation, to employees. Now, the concept is spreading to the business schools. Starting this month, undergraduate business students and MBA candidates at New York University and its Stern School of Business will take mindfulness courses.

So what is mindfulness, exactly? Stephen McKenzie, a research psychologist who wrote a book called Mindfulness at Work: How to Avoid Stress, Achieve More, and Enjoy Life, sums it up as “focusing our attention on what is, rather than being distracted by what isn’t.” He points to reams of recent scientific evidence that meditation, and mental habits related to it, can rewire how the brain responds to stress, boost people’s creativity, and lead to more rational decision-making.

Moreover, it isn’t a matter of changing the way we think or “something we need to be sold on,” McKenzie notes. “Mindfulness is something we all have already, at least occasionally.” The goal of all the training that’s going on now is to develop more of it and hone the ability to tap into it under pressure. With that in mind, McKenzie suggests these four mindfulness techniques you can use at the office:

Concentrate completely on one thing at a time. McKenzie calls this being “fully connected to the reality of the moment”—that is, not multitasking, and hushing those nagging, negative little voices in your head that tell you what can’t be done. A total focus on the task at hand “eliminates unhelpful distractions, such as our ideas about a how a problem ‘should’ be solved,” he says. Letting go of self-imposed constraints, like how things have been done in the past, “makes people naturally open to new and creative solutions.”

Pause between projects. Getting mentally stuck on one problem interferes with humans’ natural ability to see different situations with fresh eyes. So mindfulness requires detaching mentally from one activity before starting to focus on another one. Standing up and walking around, or just deep breathing for a minute, can help.

Stop worrying. People often believe they are thinking about a problem when they are, in fact, just spinning their wheels. “We think that thinking about a problem again and again and again will solve it,” says McKenzie. “It won’t.” Mindfulness training aims to teach people how to get out of their own way and let what McKenzie calls “our natural flow of creative consciousness” come up with a fresh approach.

Respond, rather than react. “Rigidity is the opposite of creativity. We become rigid when we think we know what to do,” McKenzie says, especially when it isn’t working. Mindfulness, by contrast, is about “letting go of the belief that we know the best and only way to work something out.” Seeing a situation clearly, and questioning or putting aside assumptions about it, can open up new neural pathways that lead to novel ideas.

Fans of mindfulness say practicing it makes people more productive, less stressed, and more likely to reach decisions that are based on reality rather than, for instance, on wishful thinking or fear. Maybe so. The only real way to know whether it’s just a fad is to wait and see whether the current wave of enthusiasm for it lasts. McKenzie, whose view is admittedly biased, thinks that a fad that is already thousands of years old will stick around for quite a while longer “because it works.”

In any case, your current boss seems to agree, which is reason enough to keep an open mind. And if mindfulness really does produce more creativity with less angst, let’s hope it’s here to stay.

Talkback: Does your employer encourage the practice of “mindfulness”? If you’ve been trained in it, has it helped you in your job? Leave a comment below.

gurus n. 古鲁(指印度教等宗教的宗师或领袖);领袖;专家

meditation n. 冥想;沉思,深思

eliminate vt. 消除;排除


亲爱的安妮:你怎么看“正念”这种理念?我的团队来了一位新上司,他总是提到这个词,比如“让我们以正念的方式思考这件事”或“我希望大家尽可能以正念的方式解决这件事。”我并不想承认我对他的理念一无所知,所以我在维基百科(Wikipedia)进行了一番搜索,很明显,所谓正念是指专注于当下所发生的事情,它源自一种古老的佛教信徒禅修技巧。好吧,您能否解释一下如何将这种理念应用于新金融工具的营销(这正是我们的工作)?您和您的读者是怎么看大这种理念的?它是否有些用处,或者仅仅是另一种只能流行一时的管理潮流?——S.B.

亲爱的S.B.:与许多职场趋势一样,这种理念在几年前席卷硅谷,之后开始向东转移。西海岸的思想者通过修习佛法寻求启迪的做法并不新鲜——史蒂夫•乔布斯曾在印度跟随上师修行很长时间,并由一位僧人主持婚礼。但不同的是,“正念”已经被许多大公司采用。“正念”基于古代佛教信仰,并以先进的神经科学为依据。

比如:谷歌(Google)不仅在内部提供正念培训,还在2012年创立了“寻找你内在的领导力学院”(Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute ),希望将这种技巧传授给感兴趣的人。苹果(Apple)、麦肯锡(McKinsey)、宝洁(Procter & Gamble)、通用磨坊(General Mills)、福特(Ford)和基因泰克(Genentech)等公司虽然各有特点,但这些公司均开始为员工提供包括冥想在内的正念训练。现在,这种理念也流行到商学院。从本月开始,纽约大学(New York University)及该校斯特恩商学院(Stern School of Business)的本科商学专业学生与MBA申请者,也将学习正念课程。

到底什么是正念?研究心理学家史蒂芬•麦肯齐曾写过一本书,名为《职场正念:如何避免压力,实现卓越,享受生活》(Mindfulness at Work: How to Avoid Stress, Achieve More, and Enjoy Life)。他将正念总结为“专注于事物本质,不受其他事物的干扰”。他提到大量最新的科学依据,证明冥想和与之相关的心理习惯,可以改变大脑应对压力的方式,提高创造力,使人们做出更理性的决策。

此外,麦肯齐表示,正念并非改变我们的思维方式,也不是“那种我们需要沉溺于其中的事情”。正念是我们已经拥有的,至少会偶然拥有的。目前所有培训的目标,是进一步开发这种技巧,磨练在压力下进行正念冥想的能力。麦肯齐据此提出了四种可以在办公室使用的正念技巧:

一次完全专注于一件事情。麦肯齐将其称为“完全专注于当前的现实”——即不要执行多项任务,屏蔽脑海中那些喋喋不休告诉你哪些事情没有完成的负面噪音。他说道,完全专注于当前的任务“可以消除无益的干扰,例如‘应该’如何解决一个问题等想法。”抛弃自我施加的限制,例如过去解决问题的方法等,“可以让人们自然而然地以开放的心态接受新的、富有创意的解决方案。”

转换项目时暂停一下。在心理上陷入一个问题,会干扰人们以新鲜角度看待不同情况的本能。因此,正念要求人们从心理上与之前的活动彻底分离,然后再去专注于下一个活动。站起来走一走,或深呼吸一分钟,都会有所帮助。

停止担忧。很多时候,人们认为自己在思考问题,实际上只是白费力气。麦肯齐说道:“我们认为,一遍遍地考虑问题就可以解决它。事实却并非如此。”正念训练的目的是教会人们跳出习惯思维模式,按照麦肯齐的说法,“通过创造性意识的自然流动”找出新的方法。

响应,而不是反应。麦肯齐说道:“死板僵化是创造力的天敌。当我们以为自己知道该做什么的时候,我们便陷入了僵化。”尤其是在我们自以为是的方法并不奏效的时候。而正念则与之相反,它“要人们抛弃‘我们知道最好的、唯一的解决方案’这种想法。”清楚地观察局势,质疑或撇开与之相关的假设,可以打开新的神经通路,产生新奇的想法。

正念的支持者们认为,通过正念可以提高效率,减少压力,更有可能做出基于现实的决策,而不是基于一厢情愿的想法或恐惧做出决定。或许吧。要想知道正念是否只是流行一时的潮流,唯一的方法是等待,看看人们对它的热情能否持久。麦肯齐的观点明显存在偏见,他认为这种已经存在数千年的潮流必定会存在很长时间,“因为它是有效的”。

无论如何,你当前的上司似乎认同这种做法,这个理由足以让你接受它。如果正念确实能够在减少焦虑的同时产生更多创意,希望它能一直存在下去。

反馈:你的雇主是否鼓励“正念”?如果你曾接受过这方面的训练,它对你的工作是否真有帮助?欢迎评论。(财富中文网)

译者:刘进龙/汪皓



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