下属不改,谁之过

在沟通的培训课堂上,一个学员跟我说了一件让他很苦恼的事,他有一个下属,每次交报告给他的时候,在报告中都会犯同样的错误,比如拼写错误,格式不对等等。他问我,“老师,怎么能让他改过来?”我也问了他一个问题,“你都做了些什么?”他说,“我每次都会帮他改好,然后再还给他。我批评过他几次,但每次他还是会犯同样的错误,我还得继续帮他改。”我又问,“你觉得谁应该对这个问题负责?”他毫不犹豫的说,“当然是这个下属。”“除了下属还有谁?”我追问,学员陷入长时间的思索……

从专业角度来看,这是一个典型的固定行为模式(behavior pattern)的实例,根据“里尔玫瑰”模型(Leary’s Rose),人际互动中某些行为通常会引发另一些行为,其中主导型行为(Leading)会引发依赖型行为(Depending)。在这个例子中,学员和他的下属之间的互动就体现了这一点,领导采取了主导型行为(帮助修改拼写和格式),而这种主导型行为导致了下属的依赖型行为(不检查拼写和格式,反正领导会做)。这种过程经过几次反复,已经形成了一种固定的行为模式,在他们今后的相处过程中,基本上会继续延续这种模式。

这样的例子在生活和工作中还有很多,领导什么事都拿主意,下属就习惯了什么事都来请示领导;夫妻之间有一方总是冲在前面,另一方就会习惯跟随。当这种行为模式对于双方都没什么影响时,可以继续。但是,当这种行为模式给某一方带来困扰,希望打破的时候,“里尔玫瑰”模型就能够帮助我们。

在听我讲解前面的内容时,这个学员一直频频点头,此刻,他急切的说“老师,我想打破这种固定的行为模式,应该怎么做?”

有一位资深的培训师曾经跟我分享过一句话,“很多人的行为都符合精神病的定义,就是不断重复同样的行为,却期望不同的结果。”也就是说,期待不同的结果,必然要有不同的行为。那么,由谁来开始新的行为呢?在这个例子中,期待着下属突然调整自己的行为,可能性不是很大,那么只能从主管自己的行为开始调整,“里尔玫瑰”模型很重要的一部分在于“行为引发行为”,往往当我们调整自己的行为以后,会发现对方的行为也会随之改变。

现在这位主管已经准备从改变自己的行为开始入手了,根据“里尔玫瑰”,主导型行为能够引发依赖型行为,同样,依赖型行为也能够引发主导型行为。在课堂上,通过role play,我们让这位学员尝试了依赖型行为,以低姿态跟下属进行对话,说明这件事给自己带来的困扰,请对方帮助解决,在role play中,他的这种做法激发了扮演其下属的学员的主观能动性,对方自己想出了一些解决问题的办法并开始take ownership。这次成功的经验让这位学员很兴奋,他决定回到工作环境中立刻尝试这种沟通方法,同时今后不再继续帮助其下属修改拼写及格式。

一个月以后我收到这位学员的邮件,他很高兴的告诉我,通过应用课堂中学到的方法,他的下属果然自己给出了解决方案并从此认真执行,他原来的苦恼从此画上了一个句号。

当我们因陷入某种固定的行为模式而苦恼的时候,不妨想一想,谁之过?

作者:刘新玥(Lisa)

“尝试”带来“改变”

有一名学员在培训时分享了自己的一个经历:她去找一个重要的内部客户去谈一件很重要的事情,但是对方总是一边忙自己的事情,一边听她说话,让她感觉很不确定,对方是否真的在听自己说话。当时,她讲完事情,就离开了,自己感觉很窝火,因为她不知道对方有没有认真的对待这件事,同时自己也感觉有些被对方忽略。

于是,我邀请她做一下演练,如果她想改变这种状况,她可以做些什么。她很勇敢的接受了这个挑战,开始演练。

两个人站在那里交谈,对方没有把注意力放在她身上。她弯着腰,身体前倾,满脸微笑,声音很轻很局促的对对方说:我知道您的事情都很重要,我不会耽误您很多时间,我快点说完行么?这件事是这样的……。

之后,她分享了她的感受:她有些失望,自己还是没有达到引起对方注意的目的;有学员给她反馈:她的语言和肢体语言传递出的信息是好像她在求对方。

我们每个人在做事情的时候,他人看到的是我们的行为。而行为产生的原因,是你的想法,你当时的情绪状态,你的期望和你的信念等等。

比如上面这个例子,她说的话和展现出来的行为,把自己的姿态放得比较低,没有用平等的姿态去与对方沟通。她心里可能在替对方着想,觉得不能耽误别人的时间;也可能很担心自己谈的事情没有给对方带来价值。这样无形中降低了自己的自我价值感,觉得对方比我重要。以这样的姿态和方式与对方沟通,很难让对方认识到你要谈的事情的重要性,对方的反应很可能是继续做他觉得重要的事情。这样的结果会让当事人有挫败感,看不到自己对他人的影响力,下次遇到同样的情境时,心里会越发的忐忑,更没有信心去实现自己的目标,展现出来的行为也有可能更加的退让。

果敢的表达是果敢行为中重要的一部分,它关系到自己在尊重他人的同时,是否真的尊重自己:是否能够清晰的表达出自己的观点,看到自己在团队中的价值和影响力;是否能够直接的表达出自己的需求,来增大需求被满足的可能性;是否能够直接、开放的表达出自己的真实想法,和他人建立紧密的联结;是否能够在压力下调整自己,适度的、理性的表达,以减少不必要的误解和冲突。

怎样做到果敢表达呢?果敢表达需要自我认同,需要感觉到自己的力量,需要从积极的角度去看待问题。但这些不是空中楼阁,我们可以在尝试新的行为的过程中去逐渐提升技能和累积力量。在与人互动中尝试一些新的做法,让自己有所突破,比如:在部门会议中,表达自己的观点,而不是一直犹豫要不要说,质疑自己的观点是否有价值;在有不同观点时,直接而清晰的表达出来,肢体语言不卑不亢,而不是勉强自己说“是”,在说“是”之后勉强去做,或者把自己的承诺放在一边,最后因为没有结果而让双方都遭受损失。

当我们尝试不同的做法时,也许你会看到不同的效果,而好的结果能够让自己提升对自己能力的认可,看到自己有形的力量,提升自己的自信心,从而表现得更加果敢。正如开头那个例子,挺直身体,直视对方,用放松自信的姿态清楚的表达出事情的重要性和自己的需求,增大赢得对方时间和关注的机会,同时提升自我价值感。

行胜于言,“尝试”会带来“改变”,果敢行为会引发他人的果敢行为。尝试新的、更加果敢的行为,提升自己,为自己创造更好的人际环境,为团队带来更多的和谐因素。

一个关于倾听的故事

一个学员在上过沟通课后的分享中讲了这样一个关于成功使用倾听技巧的故事:
(在征求了她同意后,我想把这个故事跟大家分享。主人公叫小月。)

一天, 小月和老公在讨论拍婚纱照的事情时发生了争执,因为拍照的费用很贵,要1万多块,她跟老公建议:“我们为什么不把这一万多块省下来,1)能给你的相机换个比较好的镜头。2)剩下的钱还能给我们买些好看的以后也能穿的衣服。 然后,我们可以穿着新衣服在蜜月的时候多照些相,又省钱又省事,不是很好吗?”虽然老公好像也觉得这个建议经济实惠,但他总是找各种各样的理由反对,最后对话变成了这样:

“你的衣服够多了,还要买?!”
“你宁可把钱捐给影楼也不想给我买衣服?!”
“你为什么这么俗套?!为什么别人拍我们就一定要拍?!”
“不管怎么样,一辈子就这一回,就是要俗套!婚纱照一定要拍!”
“。。。。。。”

这样的对话模式听上去是否似曾相识?别着急,故事还没问完。

小月突然觉得沟通气氛不对,想到了沟通课上讲的“倾听”,她觉察到好像自己在谈话中一直只是在“听自己”(level one listening),不停地在辩解和说服,根本没有去听老公的真实想法,以至于把一件原本很美好的事变成了争吵,想到这里,小月决定尝试培训中学到了倾听技巧,她先停下来让双方都平静了一下,后来对话变成了这样:

“我知道了,拍婚纱照这件事好像对你来说很重要,能不能告诉我去影楼照相对你来说有什么样不同的意义?”小月试图压低声音问老公。
“因为一辈子就一次,我想经历每个人都经历过的事情,俗也无所谓。”老公的声音也缓和了一些。
“哦。。。”小月深切的看着老公,点了点头。
“还有其它理由吗?”小月又接着问。(因为沟通课上讲过这个”what else?”的powerful question)
“而且,你知道吗,我从很久以前就幻想着有一天我美丽的老婆穿着洁白的婚纱微笑的看着我的样子。”说到这里,老公的眼睛好像湿润了。
小月深深被老公打动了,好后悔自己刚才没有积极倾听。同时,她好像还从老公的眼神中觉察到了什么,便半开玩笑的说:“你老婆这么漂亮,给别人看相册的时候一定很骄傲吧?”
“你怎么知道的?!”老公瞪大眼睛,好像秘密被发现了似得。

这样的一次谈话让小月有了很大的触动,倾听后才发现,原来老公的理由是如此的合情合理。

在日常沟通中,不管是与家人、朋友,还是公司同事,我们看上去好像是在听别人说,但脑子里转的都是自己的理由,关注的都是自己的需求,也就是level 1的“听自己”,如果双方都在“听自己”,很容易会产生冲突,使矛盾激化,就像故事开始时候的小月,只有当我们将关注点开始往对方转移时,我们才能真正了解对方的想法,后来小月使用了停顿,目光接触,“哦”,点头等鼓励性的表示,总结和提问等level 2 listening 的技巧,关注的是对方,让老公感受到了她的关注和说话的空间,最终说出了他真正的想法。而且在最后,小月还用到了level 3 listening中的观察细节,利用直觉,“听出”了老公没有说出来的东西,进一步加深了双方的理解,有种心有灵犀的感觉。

这个发生在学员身上的真实案例再次证实了一个道理:只有积极倾听,才能使双方达成理解或共识成为可能。

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单循环反馈与双循环反馈

反馈在沟通中的作用是告诉对方其行为对产生自身的影响。思腾中国建议的反馈方式是使用I-I-You模式,即可以采用这样三段体的方式来表达反馈:“①我发现/注意到……②我认为/觉得……③你觉得呢……”。这样的反馈有三个明显的特点:①关注具体的行为而不是对个人的笼统评判;②以“我”开头陈述“我”观察的事实,保留了对事实本身认知的其他可能性;③强调行为对“我”的影响或引发的感受,只代表自己说话而不代表他人。

从培训现场学员的反馈看,这种反馈方式确实有助于帮助他们改善反馈效果,尤其是能让学员意识到自己习惯性的反馈方式存在的不足。学员在练习体验和实际应用过程中,也提出了一些典型的疑问,其中有一个问题值得在这里探讨。

问题:在I-I-You模式中,最后那句“你觉得呢?”,实际使用过程中说起来挺别扭的,是不是可以不说?

当然,具体场景中这句话怎么表述可以灵活多样,与此同时,我也建议还是要将这句话的意思明确地表达出来。这其实涉及到反馈中一个有意思的话题:反馈之后我们做什么?比如,举一个员工迟到的例子。“小王,我发现这周你迟到了3次,我认为你这样的行为没有遵守公司基本的考勤规定,希望你今后能准时上班。”反馈环节到此结束,接下去会发生什么呢?如果小王列举原因进行解释,那么很有可能被经理视为辩解;如果小王不解释,那么这个话题可能就到这里了,下周会发生什么?不知道。

I-I-You反馈以开放式的提问作为收尾,意味着反馈将邀请与对方一起开启一次沟通,反馈的结束并不是沟通的结束,而恰恰是沟通的开始。这种沟通非常必要,尤其是在管理者自认为掌握着“真理”的时候,比如员工违背了公司的规定和约定俗成的常识。组织学习专家阿吉瑞斯提出过组织的单循环学习概念,单循环学习是发现与理想状态的偏差,并减小这些偏差的过程,目的是保证组织达到自己所设定的目标。与单循环学习对应的是单循环反馈,目的是让员工的行为回到“正轨”。而以提问方式来结束单循环反馈,开启了双方约定与承诺的协商过程,平衡了管理者简单给予“指令”的领导方式,给员工表达的机会,减少员工的抵触情绪,并向内心真正的认可迈进了一大步。

单循环反馈时,需特别注意提问结尾的重要性,管理者在心里给员工留一扇窗,员工可能会打开一扇门!通过这扇门,双方更容易走向彼此坦诚相互理解的信任之地。
除此之外,提问的方式还有可能让单循环反馈走向双循环反馈。阿吉瑞斯提出的双循环学习是指需要问一问什么原因让组织有这样的规定,这有助于对组织现有的规范、流程、政策以及目标进行审视并加以修正。与双循环学习对应的是双循环反馈,管理者在反馈时将关注重点从内部规则、规定转移到员工身上,明显的行为就是不事先根据规定而判断员工的做法是否合适,而是试图了解员工这么做的原因,反馈目的首先不是简单的行为矫正,而是了解员工发生了什么。

上面那个例子是某个投资顾问公司总经理真实遇到的情景。他发现有个下属,小王,最近经常迟到,给了他反馈,但没有什么改变。再一次反馈时,他问了“我很想知道你怎么看这个事?”对方的回答让他陷入了思考。原来,小王正在负责一个美国客户的投资项目,由于存在时差,与客户的电话沟通大都得从晚上9点才开始,偶尔深夜1、2点钟还在电话上。因为项目临近收尾,小王想着扛一扛就过去了,但早上有时真听不见闹钟响。事情几句话说就清楚了,让经理思考的问题是“为什么对方不跟自己解释呢?”

他并没有放过疑问,第二天又找了小王谈这个事,“小王,我发现你上次没有跟我解释你迟到的原因,这让我觉得有点不理解,你能跟我说说你是怎么想的吗?”小王有点意外,思考了一会儿还是坦诚地说了自己的看法。公司从几个人发展到几十个人,经理现在的管理风格从民主式转向控制式,花了很多精力制订了不少管理规章制度,也要求员工必须遵守这些规范。上次给予反馈时,小王觉得经理只是给出了明确的指示,简单说完就走了,这让他觉得还是不解释为妙。通过这次交流,经理在公司会议上给予小王在项目期间弹性工作的特权,并鼓励大家在遵守规定的同时,希望还能保持畅通的沟通。

反馈是用来帮助员工的,从单循环反馈到双循环反馈,开启了沟通之门,经理和员工都不会被动地被既定的规则、指标、任务等框住思维,真正关注对方的感受,从而赢得内心的承诺和行为的践行。
你觉得呢?

反馈是人际关系的润滑油

一次课上,一名学员分享了他的一个经历。有一天他的情绪很糟糕,一和同事说话就吵,用他自己的话说,“见谁咬谁”。后来他自己分析,是什么原因让自己控制不了自己的情绪。他想到,真正让他失控的事是:有一件重要的事,他的同事答应做,结果却食言了。

我问他:那这件事怎么会影响你这么大呢?

他想了想,说:我把说话算数这个标准看得很重,我是这样要求自己的,也会这样去要求别人。

随后,他接着说:而且,我对这件事的解读让我更不舒服。我觉得对方根本不在意我们之间的合作关系。说得更严重点,对方根本不把我当回事儿,所以我很生气。

我接着问:对方知道这件事给你带来的影响么?你会找他聊这件事么?

他回答说:不会,我已经不想再和他合作了。

如果事情按这样发展下去的话,我们很容易想象接下来可能会发生什么。那么我们怎么减少这种人际间的摩擦或误会,并减少由此带来的更糟糕的影响呢?意识到自己的解释不是“真理”,并用反馈增大人际交往中的透明度,来促进彼此间的合作。

首先,我们每个人对待事物的反应都有一个相同的认知过程:

一件事情的客观发生:答应的事同事没有做。引发自己的解释:对方不在意我们之间的合作关系;对方不把我当回事儿。由此带来的感受:生气,愤怒。 接下来引发的行动:我不愿意再跟他合作。

在这个过程中,你会发现,对客观事件如何解释直接决定着你的感受和你接下来要采取的行动。比如说,同样的一件事情,如果解释为:对方在处理事情的时候可能遇到了一些困难。那么由此带来的感受也许是:我有些替他着急。随后的行为可能是:找到这个人,询问对方有什么需要帮忙的。

回想一下,在我们的日常生活和工作中,是否会对自己的“解释”画一个问号呢?还是会依据自己的经验和价值观,把自己的解释当作自己的“真理”?而每个人的经验和价值观都会不同,每个人的解释就会千差万别,误会就势必产生。那么我们怎么做才能减少误会和由此带来的人际摩擦呢?

反馈是人际关系的润滑油。在能够控制情绪的时候,直接找对方给予反馈,从描绘具体发生的事情开始,告诉对方自己的解释和这件事给自己带来的影响,然后给对方说话的空间和余地,也可以利用这次谈话机会,告诉对方你希望他下次怎么做,或者一起探讨两个人怎么能够更好的合作。这样给彼此一个了解对方,消除误会的机会,也为下次互动在关系层面和互动方式上奠定了更好的基础。

在人际关系互动中,当一件影响我们的事情发生时,我们会去做各种猜想。而当我们不用反馈将事情拿到桌面上讨论时,这种猜想往往是负面的猜想,想别人的不对,想自己的不好。尤其是经常展现退让型行为的人(果敢行为训练中将行为类型划分为:攻击型行为、果敢行为和退让型行为),会更多的在关系层面去解读,而且容易在解释中贬低自己,给自己带来很多的负面情绪,从而导致意想不到的结果。这时候,用反馈的方式果敢的把自己的感受表达出来尤为重要,主动的迈出解决问题的第一步,不惧怕面对可能产生的冲突,用积极的心态去改变自己对自己的重要性的不认同,用敞开自己去赢得尊重。

反馈看起来似乎是一件简单的事情,但是能够直接而又不冒犯对方的给予反馈是需要很强的自我管理和沟通技巧的。但只要战胜自己内心的阻抗,抱着真诚解决问题的态度,你将感受到反馈这个润滑油给你带来的轻松和加速度。

Cross (X) or Cross (–>), it’s up to you!

Many people find it difficult to communicate in a cross-culturalenvironment. Some people always hear the beep sound with a big red (X) sign; some people manage to cross in between cultures with ease. What’s the secret? How can I see through the pair of deep blue eyes?

Recently we went to our HQ in the Netherlands for a ten-day professional training. We had a wonderful time with our trainers and colleagues from Holland, Germany and America, a nice mix. And I also witnessed many cultural differences. One of the incidences really caught my attention.

On the third day of training just after lunch, one of my Chinese colleagues suddenly burped in the class, quite loudly, all the Chinese colleagues just ignored it like nothing had happened. But I noticed that three of our foreign colleagues reacted differently, they were shocked and then quickly had a little chat together, “Oh my god, that was so rude!” they whispered, and I overheard.

It is not a very polite thing to burp loudly in public, but is it fair to label that behavior as being rude when the person had neither intention nor idea about the impact it might has to others? Nevertheless, I do, too, understand that it’s natural to be shocked when one is coming from a culture where certain manners or behaviors are very much noticed, valued and appreciated. So here comes the misunderstanding of communication in a cross-cultural context. The sender sends a message unintentionally in a non-verbal form (a loud burp could mean for Chinese people I just had a satisfactory meal), but the receiver received the message and decoded it as being disrespectful, there is obviously a huge gap between the intention from the sender and the effect received by the receiver.

The saddest thing is that the misunderstanding is not known to either side. Doesn’t this happen all the time for people in cross-cultural communication? It’s like your American coworker is very angry about you and has been acting weirdly, but you don’t know anything about it, or vice versa. How frustrating and ineffective is that?

Back to the story, the question raised now: how to make the misunderstanding known for both sides so that wrong interpretation will not last or being reinforced when the same thing happens again?

The answer came out the next day.

The following day, I was chatting with my German colleague Claudia in the class after lunch, suddenly my Chinese colleague sitting next to us burped again. This time Claudia hesitated a bit, then she stopped our conversation and went to my Chinese colleague and said to her with a smile “Dear, I have to let you know that in our culture burping loudly in public is considered impolite to others, we normally control it and cover our mouth with hand, or if it really came out unexpectedly we will say sorry or excuse me to the people around us. How is that perceived in China?” My Chinese colleague didn’t quite understand in the beginning, but she eventually did and received it as a constructive feedback from another culture. I admired Claudia for her courage and authenticity. I said to her that I really appreciated her feedback to clear the misunderstanding, I also told her in a joking way that we Chinese don’t like them blowing nose at the table too, it can be very de-appetizing! We all laughed and went on to talk about all kinds of taboos in different cultures. It feels so much better to discuss all that in the open air!

So how to reduce misunderstanding in a cross-cultural context in general?
Notice how Claudia did it in the next day, as a receiver, when she felt uncomfortable (affected by the value in her culture), instead of having some negative inner voice, she decided to give feedback, and she did it in a very effective way because of the following:

1) She smiled, this small behavior created a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. (Non-verbal)
2) Her feedback focused on behavior, not the person. (D.I.E model)
3) She checked to see if the behavior is perceived differently in another culture. (I.I.YOU in cross-culture context)

Feedback is sent by the receiver to make clear to sender the impact on him/her (also known as the Effect in the communication model) and then check if it’s inline with the sender’s Intention, in the context of cross-culture communication, the intention might be very much influenced by culture. Effective feedback skills can create transparency and open dialogue without offending others. Feedback is very essential (the receiver to sender) in the Checking process.

Since Checking is two-way street, it’s not done by just the receiver. The sender can also take initiative in the communication to avoid misunderstanding from happening by checking the receiver’s feeling when sender notices the unusual behavior of the receiver, usually non-verbal. Or even check before communication to understand better of that culture, e.g. special taboos. This kind of checking can be helped by google.

There are still so much more about communicating more effectively in a cross-cultural context, but most importantly remember : Checking before Judging! It’s for all communication, especially when you are a culture away.

You can cross (–>)!

硬技能的软着陆——软技能在企业中的应用案例

个人能力可以笼统地划分为“硬技能”和“软技能”两个部分。“硬技能”是指个人具备的某个领域的专业能力,包括满足职位要求的基础知识和实践经验,通常与如何正确地处理事情相关。“软技能”则是“情商”在行为层面的延伸,涵盖自我认知和人际交往,通常与如何和谐地与人相处相关。随着人们对“软技能”认识水平的提高,越来越多的企业意识到员工需要寻求“硬技能”与“软技能”的平衡,通过应用“软技能”释放自身的“硬技能”,为个人和企业发展做出更大的贡献。

软技能为个人发展添翼

每个人进入职场后,一般都会经历由职场新人、专业人员、初级管理者到中高级管理者的发展轨迹,软技能的娴熟运用将使具备硬技能的个人如虎添翼,赢得众人支持,减少前进道路上的障碍。

案例1:职场新人Rudy的演讲

Rudy是在某动物保护组织工作1年多的职场新人,最近领导委派她给100多名募捐者做一次演讲,Rudy倍感压力。其实,Rudy非常热爱这项事业,也掌握了有关动物保护方方面面的信息和知识,但是她依然无法让自己轻松起来,甚至连准备演讲稿都会因为压力的缘故一拖再拖。盘桓在她脑海中的只有三个问题:我会不会紧张地连话都说不出?会不会说了上句忘了下句?如果说不来,我可怎么办呀?要知道,有100多双眼睛盯着我呢!

对于职场新人而言,压力主要源于对自身形象认知不足,尚未建立起自信果敢的积极心态。通过训练当众演讲的技能,将有助于他们突破内心胆怯发憷的瓶颈,建立自我激励、自信自尊的个人形象。这对于职场新人在组织中如何营销自己至关重要,让更多的人了解自己,同时循序渐进地锻造抗压能力。

案例2:专业人员Marry的苦恼

Marry是从业3年左右的销售人员,对公司的产品了如指掌,待人接物游刃有余,能娴熟地应用FABE销售工具,签过很多单,客户关系维系得也非常好。但是她依然有自己的苦恼。她发现自己在初次拜访新客户时,谈话总是陷入“客户执着问,自己拼命答”的模式,有时她都能从客户眼神中看出对方试图难住自己的意愿。她觉得自己像一台自动回答机,又苦于无法打破这样的模式。

对于专业人员而言,通过几年的学习、实践和积累,硬技能通常都不是问题,这时有意识地将注意力放在自身软技能方面多考虑些,往往能取得意想不到的效果。比如案例中的Marry,最终帮助她的是如何提问,这不但需要学习提问技巧,更重要的是改变她试图控制沟通进程的不安全感,让自己在与客户沟通获得乐趣,而不仅仅关心最终能否签成单。

案例3:初级经理Steve的会议

Steve从一个专业骨干被提拔成部门主管已经有半年了,管理着有5个下属的团队。过去作为“技术大拿”时,他与周围同事的关系非常融洽,大家对他一致的赞誉是“有困难就找Steve”。现在,他领导的团队却士气低落,背后被大家称为“颠覆性的领导”,因为他在开会时,虽然也邀请团队成员首先发言,但在别人发言时,总是眉头紧蹙,若有所思,在总结时经常不顾及甚至全盘推翻他人的意见,按照自己的想法来要求大家贯彻执行。

对于初级经理而言,在从专业人员到管理者的转变过程中,阻碍更多表现在软技能方面。案例中的Steve,即便他最后的会议决策都是正确的,但他的行为让团队其他成员觉得自己很渺小,不受重视,伤害了团队中的合作氛围。Steve目前正在学习如何倾听对方,并表达认可和感谢,并用商量的口吻实现达成对决策的共识。

案例4:中级经理Tom的委屈

Tom在他野外工程的专业领域中已经积累了十几年的工作经验,在中级经理的职位上一干就是10年。他总有一种怀才不遇的委屈,觉得自己能胜任高级经理的职责,虽然公司的CEO一再流露希望提拔他的意图,却迟迟没有结果。其实,CEO对提拔Tom一直很纠结,一方面Tom确实能力卓越,公司发展的确需要这样的人才;另一方面,Tom因为高姿态的沟通方式而无法赢得同事的追随。

对于中高级经理而言,职位越高,就越要求他们能够团结和领导更多的人,对个人软技能的要求也就越高。Tom多年野外工作的成功经历,让他习惯于自上而下发号指令的沟通方式,这种方式恰恰与公司平等民主的办公室文化相冲突。现在,公司CEO专门为Tom制订了coaching计划,希望他能尽快对自身软技能方面的缺失形成认知并有所改善,尽快融入中高级经理团队中。

软技能为企业发展护航

企业是由人组成的,软技能的核心就在于人,因此,企业发展中所涉及的各种主题和举措,比如人员发展、组织变革、战略实施、文化落地等,都需要重视软技能在其中发挥的重要作用。

案例1:员工职业化塑造

某家区域性银行的人力资源经理发现,虽然员工经常接受国资委、银监会、央行关于风险控制、宏观经济、银行业务的培训,但不少员工依然欠缺基本的纪律观念,培训中迟到、早退甚至无故缺席,连招呼都不打。她决定在2011年在初级经理中推行以软技能为核心的培训课程(见下表),帮助他们确立自我的职业化形象,并提高人际行为能力。

员工职业化塑造需要兼顾硬技能和软技能,前者让员工具备基础的工作能力,而后者则让员工在工作中能更好地发挥出具备的工作能力。软硬兼顾的职业化培养,将帮助员工实现由内而外的能力提升,并实现由己及人的效果辐射,最终提高了企业整体的软实力。

案例2:顺应组织变革

某全球化电子产品制造商,2年前进行了组织结构变革,将原来属于本地化的权力统一收归集团总部,但本地化部门依然要对结果负责任。比如原来的运营部门统帅客服、R&D、采购等部门,变革之后,运营部门与这些部门形成了同级关系,不再拥有自上而下的管理权。这就要求运营部门如何发挥不依赖职权的影响力,实现部门之间的合作。

组织结构扁平化等变革是当今时代的主旋律,变革将会改变工作流程,重新分配职权范围,对人员也产生了不小的影响,需要学习新的技能来应对这样的变化,其中软技能是必不可少的重要环节。上述企业的运营经理在接受“个人影响力”培训后,在谈到与R&D部门沟通时深有感触:“不依赖职权影响他人,我突然意识到自己是生活在人群中,而不是事情中,影响他人从改变自我开始,需要使用对方的语言进行沟通。”员工在软技能方面的感悟和提升,将组织变革落实到个人行为层面,从而实现企业变革管理的目标。

案例3:培养领导者

某石油产品制造商特别重视在企业中推行领导者培养计划,该企业学习中心经理认为,软技能对于企业不同层级的员工而言会有不同的需求,如果有共性需求的话,软技能可帮助各级人员成为优秀的领导者。该企业领导者胜任力模型中(见下表),有大量的技能属于软技能范畴。

在企业中,领导者之所以能成为领导者,必然以其优秀的硬技能为基础,而且硬技能在工作中相对比较容易提高,毕竟每天都需要处理不同的事情。但是软技能的培养需要专门的计划来推进,这既由于传统教育在很大程度上忽略了软技能,造成领导者这方面存在明显的短板,也因为软技能的培养需要适合的环境要求,比如能够接收到有效的反馈。软技能的缺失和依赖环境,使得在培养领导者过程中需要对软技能的给予足够的重视。

案例4:落实战略执行

某连锁餐饮集团在一年前制订了雄心勃勃的战略规划,但战略部经理发现,各个部门都没有太大的行动。他召集14个部门经理在风景秀丽的度假村进行沟通,意外地发现这些领军人物在一起聊不起来,部门之间小摩擦成了交流的主旋律。他意识到,如何将这14个部门经理打造成为一个战略实施团队,成为了战略执行的关键。

企业战略制订不容易,执行就更难。俗话说,火车跑得快全凭车头带。只有首先将管理层凝聚成一个高效的团队,心往一处想,劲往一处使,战略执行才可能落到实处。在这个过程中,管理者软技能的提升,将增强自我认知和对团队多样化的包容度,有效地处理异议和冲突,达成团队对战略的内心共识并付诸实践。

案例5:企业文化落地

某全球性化工企业在集团总部的评估中,“富有感召力的领导者”这项指标得分较低,这主要因为中国本土文化对这种领导方式的接受度有限。集团总部经过慎重考虑,决定中国公司也必须融入到集团统一的文化中。目前,该公司正在按计划培养“富有感召力的领导者”,以此作为文化融合的起点。

企业文化的融合过程是对组织软技能的极大考验,涉及价值观、理念和原则的沟通往往没有对错、高低,只有彼此理解,相互欣赏,求同存异,才能实现真正的融合。而该企业力主培养的“富有感召力的领导者”,其核心技能就是积极倾听、有效反馈和调动情感的力量。先提升领导者的专项软技能,再依靠具备高超软技能的领导者来推动软性的企业文化落地,软技能始终是一把开启企业文化融合之门的钥匙。

在HOW时代拥抱软技能

根据Dov Seidman的观点,企业发展已经进入了“HOW”时代。我们不仅仅要知道做什么What,更重要的是知道该如何How做。企业的核心竞争力不再以策略取胜,而是以方式取胜;需要建立有力的人际关系网络,而不再执迷于争当NO.1;组织更趋于扁平化,而非自上而下的垂直结构;这是一个利用how的力量超越规则的时代,而不是根据现有的规则苦思冥想what是正确的。

在HOW时代,硬技能更需要实现软着落,尽可能发挥软技能的作用,释放众人的潜能,实现人与人之间的密切合作,在他人的帮助下更清晰地认知自我,从仅仅关注个人拥有什么转移到关注他人能接受什么。我们需要在HOW时代更有力地拥抱软技能,经历由脑到心的回归,获得由内而外的成长。个人如此,组织亦如此。(全文完)

作者:思腾中国高级培训师
思腾中国,来自欧洲的软技能与领导力培训专家

服务、合作、共创


2010年12月21日下午,思腾中国在北京建国饭店举办了第二届客户答谢会。在本次会上,作为发言嘉宾的北京农村商业银行人力资源部副总经理林琼女士,与参会代表分享了和思腾中国合作以来的感受、感谢和感动,她用一个公式品质=品格+能力高度概括了思腾中国的经营理念和培训特色,并几度向在场所有嘉宾表达了对作为培训师的我个人的赞扬和感谢。那一刻,我内心充满了喜悦、感动和力量。

回顾与客户合作以来这一年三个月的经历,让我感触颇多。

2009年9月29日与客户第一次见面的场景仿佛就在昨天,虽然不记得具体谈论了什么,但留在脑海中最深的印象是欢笑,一种因为相互理解、彼此期待而生的如沐春风。

第一次真正谈论合作,正如林琼女士描述的那样,我拒绝了,而真正的认同也正来自于此。2009年10月,北京农商行决定探索性地构建胜任力模型。当林琼问我思腾中国这个项目是否有感兴趣时,我毫不犹豫地拒绝了,因为思腾中国专注于做软技能培训,倡导对自己不擅长的领域应该让更专业的公司提供服务。考虑到我个人有超过10年的咨询经历,我表示可以在这个过程中提供对方需要的服务。后来,这个探索性项目由农商行内部人员先行尝试,而我则提供每周一次的辅导。在随后的3个月的时间里,从调研问卷的设计、访谈技巧辅导、文本分析辅导、问卷统计分析到最终的胜任力模型构建,我用辅导的方式推动项目一步步开始直到取得成果。让林琼感动的是,在这个过程中,思腾中国只是在默默地付出,而从没谈及回报。“我意识到思腾中国这个公司是有信念和品格的!”而林琼谈及的信念和品格,在我看来就是思腾中国倡导的“服务意识”。所谓服务,就是首先关注客户的需求,问问我能为其做些什么,而不是首先考虑对方能给我什么。这与公司专注的软技能培训理念一脉相承,那就是着眼于构建和谐的人际环境,而非追求一时一地的经济利益。

2010年,农商行的培训搞得有声有色,思腾中国也有幸成为其中的一部分,承担了领导力“从理念到落地”的跟踪培训,也就是在客户前期领导力理念培训之后,思腾中国帮助农商行的管理者实现从理念理解到行为呈现的内化过程。农商行选择思腾中国进行跟踪培训,不仅因为对思腾中国服务理念的认同,更重要的还在于客户清楚地意识到“行为转变”正是思腾中国培训的特长所在。客户需要的,而我们能提供的,就容易形成合作。与客户形成合作伙伴,而不是单纯甲方与乙方的关系,是思腾中国倡导的“合作理念”。我们认为成功的培训来源于客户与我们双方共同面对、共担责任,双方在各自熟悉的环节或领域紧密协作。正因为达成了这样的合作基础,作为培训师,在跟踪培训过程中,在面对困难和挑战时,林琼没有一句埋怨和指责,总是在给予鼓励的同时,结合学员真实的感想与反馈和我商量该如何调整和优化。5期的跟踪培训,因为双方不分彼此的真诚合作,方案一次次优化,效果一次次得以保证,收获了学员高度的认可与欣赏。

2011年,农商行将面向中层管理人员进行10项软技能的系统性培训。按照林琼的构想,将打破沟通、演讲、影响力等专题式的软技能培训模式,聚焦于反馈、倾听等10项核心的基础性软技能进行培训。应该说,思腾中国从来没有按照这样的思路提供过培训服务,这是一个不小的挑战。挑战和机遇并存,思腾中国一直以来就是在不断满足客户需求的过程中得以倍速发展的。这有赖于思腾中国倡导的“共创理念”。思腾中国坚持培训服务的客户定制化,与客户共同完成需求的发掘、课程的设计、课程的调整和后续跟进服务。即便在软技能培训领域积累了超过30年的经验,但思腾中国面对客户需求时,拒绝扮演无所不知的专家角色,一切围绕客户真正的需求和目标,向客户学习,在相信客户的判断和理解的基础上提供专业建议,与客户一起从头至尾完成一次又一次培训。

品格是舵,能力是帆。服务、合作与共创,这是我认知的思腾中国内在的信念与品格,让客户感动的同时,也帮助我积聚能量,提升能力,不断为客户提供高品质的培训服务。

Inspirational stories can be an important tool for influential leadership

“In telling value laden stories from past experiences, organizational leaders and managers show their human sides.”
Powerful Tales I was recently invited to train high potential leaders at the talent summit of a large manufacturing multinational. This particular organization strives for a culture that encourages inspirational leadership. In the training, we invited the senior managers to tell stories that centered on the main cultural themes that the organization promotes.

The stories, based on their personal experiences, reflected the alignment between their personal values and those of the organization, and left participants feeling positive and inspired. Though there was confusion and anxiety at first among the Chinese managers (as storytelling as a means of influencing leadership is rarely used), in the end it was an exciting experience for them to experiment with this alternative leadership tool.
Influencing Both Halves of the Brain

As human beings, our brain has two halves: one for “thinking” the other for “feeling”. In attempting to influence others, managers are normally tempted to convince. When we influence others by convincing, we address logical thinking and make others use the “thinking” rational part of their brain.

However, we can have a more powerful effect when we can express inspirational messages that simultaneously address both the “thinking” and the “feeling” part of the other person. An inspirational pitch with stories, pictures and metaphors will spark the other person’s imagination. When we inspire others, we reach their hearts and souls. We create new and creative ideas and trigger positive feelings. An inspirational pitch is most powerful and effective when there is alignment in what the speaker thinks, feels, and says.

Authenticity and Connection
The organization we worked with stresses connection with people in leadership behaviors. Part of the connection comes from authenticity. Consequently, in our training with the high potentials, we focused on training authenticity and being real so that the senior managers could learn how to connect with their employees in a personal way.

In telling value-laden stories from past experiences, organizational leaders and managers show their human sides and demonstrate to their employees their deep-rooted belief systems, and the things that touch them the most. Thus, connections with people are built naturally through presenting the authentic self to others. And storytellers guarantee their authentic effect on the audience because they are not performers but are themselves part of the story .

The Synthesizing Mind
Dr. Howard Gardner, a psychologist at Harvard University, describes five mind-sets that are important for the future. The most important one is the synthesizing mind, which connects and combines things. This synthesizing mind is not only reflected in the way that it incorporates the ideas of the speaker, but also in the way that it incorporates the ideas of those being influenced so that people feel they are being involved. Dr. Gardner concludes: “stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in the leader’s arsenal.”

Storytelling as an inspirational pitch is particularly effective when it is linked with organizational visions and cultural themes and used in times of organizational change. In effect, it is a good starting point for getting all stakeholders involved in a dialogue. Influencing through inspiring is based on building rapport, a harmonious relationship characterized by mutual trust, respect, and understanding. When personal and organizational values are subtly transmitted in stories of personal experiences and presented in an emotionally charged way, the impact can be immense. It is a less forceful way of gaining buy-in from others and people are naturally aligned and willingly inspired.

The importance of listening cannot be over-emphasized

“Good listening skills focus more on the relationship and feelings side of people and therefore complement our efforts to convince others to our way of thinking.”

Influencing without Authority in on of our training programs, Influencing Without Authority, I have observed many recurring patterns and pitfalls that are shared by the various different groups of functional managers, project managers, and sales people who have gone through the training.

One pattern in particular is that people often equate influencing with convincing. However, convincing is a more self-centered way of communication.

For example, I recently trained a group of middle level managers at a large multinational company in the energy sector. The manager of the pricing department expressed challenges in winning support from the GM of the sales department. He was invited to roleplay his talk with the GM. In observing the conversation, we realized that both sides were busy and effective in presenting strong arguments related to their departmental interests and concerns. However, there was really no “interaction” between the two because there was no overlap in the contents discussed and neither was “listening” to the other. The result was that both were good at convincing, but no influence happened.

Good listening skills play a critical role in helping to connect two conflicting parties and open up the opportunity to solve a problem together. Without good listening, a stalemate between both sides will be the most likely result.

Here are a few reasons why using good listening skills and influencing without authority are just as important, if not more important, than being able to use verbal power to convince someone to meet your needs.

To influence is to understand
Many organizations in today’s fast-paced world have a results-driven culture. When it comes to communication, a results-driven style also becomes the norm. Values such as being direct, clear and logical with hard facts and figures are encouraged when interacting with internal and external clients.
Nevertheless, in real life situations, for influence to happen, no matter whether you are selling a product to an external client or trying to overcome a conflict with an inter-departmental colleague, understanding the other’s needs and concerns becomes critical to influence them to buy or to change opinions. Exploring a customer’s needs and challenges, or the concerns of a colleague from a different functional department, is often required if one wants to influence them. Without communication behaviors geared towards understanding of the other, efforts to influence tend to be pointless. All in all, good listening skills are the tools to use to open up, explore, and to understand our targeted person/group before making any attempt to influence them.

To be understood, first try to understand
We often hear people complain about others being too “pushy”. Constantly sending messages in hope that others will accept becomes pushy and communication becomes one way. On the other hand, listening is a sign of showing respect and is an invitation for two-way communication. Instead of pushing, we pull the other to our side. When we want to influence someone, we expect to gain their acceptance first. By practicing good listening skills we understand and show respect to others’ viewpoints first, before inviting others to listen to us. Others are more likely to be receptive to listening to us after we have listened to and respected them.

Building connections
We tend to focus on the content and rational side when communicating with others. However, building connections is just as important. Though logical arguments and strong statements backed up by hard facts and numbers can be necessary in resolving differences of opinions in organizational settings, these behaviors sometimes create distance between people. Good listening skills focus more on the relationship and feelings side of people and therefore complement our efforts to convince others to our way of thinking, and succeed in our influencing.

When we face a world of diverse employees, who each possess a different personality, being able to touch both their rational and emotional side gives us more flexibility in influencing others in the organization.

Assertive behavior creates personal and organizational effectiveness

“A work environment in which assertion is the norm will be one in which unnecessary and destructive interpersonal tensions are reduced to a minimum.”

Encourage Your Employees to Speak Up it is a fact that many individuals, for whatever reason, are not naturally assertive. They either fail to communicate their needs in a straightforward fashion, or do so in a way that is unhelpful to others. In conflict situations, they have a tendency to lose control, or alternatively, say nothing and swallow their feelings. Being assertive means standing up for oneself without unnecessarily offending others and helps create a positive and more effective workplace.

For Chinese employees working in multinational organizations, practicing assertiveness may be especially challenging as it means they must dare to speak out and express their individual thoughts and opinions when facing people in higher positions. A real-life example of this dynamic occurred while we were training the R&D managers in the Chinese office of a major US telecommunications company. Several managers expressed the wish to try new behaviors and challenge themselves to speak up in public. Coincidentally, a global director from the company’s US headquarters happened to be visiting China and a town hall meeting was scheduled.
The global director had reservations about meeting with the Chinese employees because previously they had been reluctant to express themselves. He had even decided not to mention the company’s new strategic plan at the meeting unless asked about it, as he did not expect they would offer any input or feedback. At the meeting, he was surprised to find the Chinese managers behaving assertively – part of their homework from the training. The global director was so impressed by the Chinese managers at this meeting that a year later he moved the company’s global research center to China.

Encouraging your employees to speak up is only the first step in assertiveness training. Since many issues in the workforce are caused by communication failures, it can be an important part of overall staff development.

A work environment in which assertion is the norm will be one in which unnecessary and destructive interpersonal tensions are reduced to a minimum. For this reason, many organizations now integrate assertiveness training into their mainstream management development programs. Behaving more assertively makes one more effective in one’s job. Assertion tends to breed assertion, so people are more likely to work with an assertive colleague, rather than against him/her. In turn, this makes it easier to get satisfactory outcomes. We believe assertiveness can benefit one’s personal effectiveness in many ways:
A Better Chance of Your Needs Being Met: If you behave more assertively, you state more clearly what your needs, wants, ideas and opinions are. This increases the chance that your needs will be met and your opinions taken into account. At the same time, assertion is not about ignoring or dismissing the needs of others; instead you encourage others to make their own needs known. When needs conflict, then we believe assertive behavior helps individuals find solutions that are acceptable to both people.

Greater Confidence: In some instances your needs may not be met. The important point here is that, should this happen, because you made your needs or views known, you are more likely to feel ‘okay’ about yourself and the situation. This increased confidence about yourself helps you to recognize and accept the strengths of those who work with you or for you, rather than being threatened by them.

Taking The Initiative: If you hope to influence the environment in which you work, it is important to take initiative. These initiatives may be small

— for example, putting forward an idea in a meeting, or large — such as changing the flow of work through your department. If you behave assertively you are not afraid of failure or making a mistake.

Energy Savings: When you are no longer preoccupied with not upsetting others or losing out, you will save yourself a lot of nervous energy, and experience a reduction in stress and tension associated with getting results. Decisions become less stressful because you will be less concerned with what people think and the fear of making a mistake. This allows you more time to work productively in other aspects of your job.