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2015-01-05    来源:财富中文网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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Let’s face it; disagreeing with your boss is dangerous. And, it’s likely to go as well as telling a toddler that he can’t have something he wants. Your boss will probably throw an adult tantrum, pout, or dig in her heels. Even when you win, you lose. But, you can’t be a valuable professional or a strong leader yourself without speaking up when your boss is fixated on a hair-brained idea. So what do you do?

Instead of disagreeing with higher ups, help them consider another point of view – perhaps a new way of looking at the situation or a different path to get what they want. By not outright disagreeing with them, you keep them out of defense mode and provide a safe way to change their minds. My mother (a brilliant teacher and school principal) once told me, “Always give kids a way out – a way for them to do the right thing.” The same is true for senior managers.

Here are a few ways you can create intellectual safety and help people see another point of view:

1. “Yes, and…” – Phil Wilson was the head of HR for both Steve Jobs at NEXT and Larry Ellison at Oracle – a role where he was often the one hitting the brakes while one of these mercurial leaders was hitting the gas. Rather than tell them “no,” he learned to respond with “Yes, we can do that, and here are some of the consequences…” It opened up a dialogue and allowed the CEO to think through the downsides of his own ideas and arrive at better solutions.

2. Ask questions– Instead of dissenting, ask questions that help your boss think through both the upsides and downsides of her ideas. Ask about her fundamental objectives. Once you are clear on what she really wants, you can talk through alternative ways to help her get what she needs.

3. Retreat and regroup– Diffuse the tension by taking time to think through the ideas more carefully. One of my assignments as an executive coach was to help a senior leader at Apple get “Steve ready,” meaning prepared to present to Steve Jobs, which was often tricky! I shared a strategy I had learned from other successful leaders at Apple: When you and Steve are at an impasse, don’t argue. Indicate that you need time to think through his ideas and come back with a new plan. This demonstration of listening and learning opens up new alternatives.

4. Remember: the boss might be right– Just because you don’t agree with the boss’s idea doesn’t mean it’s wrong. When I was an executive at Oracle, Larry Ellison asked me to reduce my team by 350 people and then rebuild with a smaller team. This seemed arbitrary and harsh. I retreated, regrouped (gaining support from other executives) and then renegotiated to reduce our workforce by far fewer people. He agreed to my plan. Initially, I was considered a hero by the other executives. But, later when I saw the organization struggle to change, I realized Larry had been right. I wished I had been slower to disagree and faster to learn from his point of view.

When you need to disagree with your boss, be savvy and avoid a head-to-head competition. Help your boss consider new data and arrive at new conclusions. When you’ve managed this well, the new point of view will quickly become his or her own. And, instead of being a Debbie Downer, you become a thought partner – a far more valuable role. And who can disagree with that?

toddler: n.蹒跚行走的人; 幼童装; 学步的幼儿

tantrum: n.突然发怒; 

fixate: v.视线移向; 注视; 使固定

outright: adv.完全地; 彻底地; 坦率地,不客气地; 即刻,马上

oracle: n.神示所; 神谕; 圣贤; 哲人

dissent: vi.不同意,持异议; 不信奉国教

diffuse: v.传播;四散; 漫射;发散

savvy: adj.有见识的,懂实际知识的,通情达理的





1. “是的,不过……”——菲利普•威尔森曾在史蒂夫•乔布斯的NEXT公司和拉里•埃里森的甲骨文公司(Oracle)担任人力资源总监。当这些善变的领导者想要猛踩油门的时候,他常常要担负起踩刹车的责任。但他不会直接说“不行”,而是学会了这样回答:“是的,我们可以做到,不过可能产生的结果是……”这样做可以让双方展开谈话,使CEO能仔细考虑他的想法存在的缺点,并找出更好的解决方案。

2. 提出问题——不要直接提出异议,可以问一些问题,帮助老板仔细考虑其想法的优点和缺点。询问她的根本目标。只要你确定了她到底想要什么,你便可以与之讨论能帮她达到目的的其他途径。

3. 后退一步,重新组织自己的意见——通过拿出时间来认真思考老板的想法,缓和双方之间的紧张气氛。作为高管教练,我的职责之一是帮助苹果公司(Apple)的一位高层领导做好“应对史蒂夫的准备”,即准备好向史蒂夫•乔布斯汇报工作,这是一项棘手的任务!我与他分享了从苹果公司其他成功领导者那里学到的经验:当你和史蒂夫陷入僵局的时候,不要争论。告诉他你需要时间认真思考一下他的想法,等回来的时候再提出一个新的方案。这种表明自己在倾听和学习的态度,有助于诞生新的替代方案。

4. 记住:老板可能是正确的。你不同意老板的想法,并不意味着他的想法一定是错误的。我在甲骨文担任高管时,拉里•埃里森曾要求我将我的团队规模减少350人,重新组建一个更小的团队。这看起来是一个武断且苛刻的决定。所以我后退了一步,重新组织了我的意见(获得了其他高管的支持),然后重新与他进行协商,希望减少裁员人数。他同意了我的方案。最初,我被其他高管视为英雄。但后来,我发现公司的组织结构正在努力进行转变,这时我才意识到,拉里是正确的。我真希望当初自己能慢一些提出反对意见,快一些了解他的立场。


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