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2015-01-20 17:41:18 来源:网络英语资料下载


  Dear Annie:I just came from my third year-endperformance evaluation with this company, whereI’m in my first “real job” since college. And onceagain, just like in the past two years, I’m appalledat the way I reacted. I know you’re not supposed totake criticism personally or get defensive, butsomehow, when my boss starts telling me aboutareas I could develop or improve, my emotions takeover and I sort of panic.


  This year was the worst so far, even though the evaluation was about 85% positive. My bossbrought up one thing he thinks I could get better at, and I started defending myself before heeven finished talking. Can you suggest any ways to stop letting criticism upset me so much?Last year I spent the holidays stewing over this, and I don’t want to do that again. —TooThin-Skinned


  Dear T.T.S.:Believe me, you’re far from the only one who’s ever left a performanceappraisal with a bad case of what the French calll’esprit de l’escalier— that is, thinking ofwhat you should have said (or not said) when it’s obviously too late.

  亲爱的T.T.S.:相信我,许多人在绩效评估结束之后,都会产生法语所称的“楼梯智慧”(l’esprit del’escalier),也就是说,当你想到本应该说什么,或者本不该说什么的时候,却为时已晚。有此经历的人绝不止你一个。

  Or is it?


  If you really want another chance to let your boss finish what he meant to say, and torespond in a different way this time, why not ask for a do-over?


  “You could even explain at the outset that, this time, you intend to listen and not speak,”notes Deb Bright, head of executive coaching firm Bright Enterprises, which counts Disney,GE, Morgan Stanley, and Marriott among its clients. Bright also wrote a book,The TruthDoesn’t Have to Hurt: How to Use Criticism to Strengthen Relationships,ImprovePerformance,and Promote Change, based on a seven-year study of how peoplerespond to feedback, especially when they’re under stress. Asking for another meeting, shesays, “would show him that you want to be receptive to what he wants to tell you.”

  高管培训机构布莱特公司(Bright Enterprises)负责人黛比o布莱特强调称:“你甚至可以在一开始便解释清楚,这一次,你会耐心倾听,不说话。”布莱特公司的客户包括迪士尼(Disney)、通用电气(GE)、摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)和万豪国际集团(Marriott)等。此外,布莱特用七年时间研究了人们如何应对反馈,尤其是在面临压力的情况下应对反馈的方式,并以此为依据写了一本书——《真话不一定伤人:如何用批评增强关系、提高绩效和推动改变》(The Truth Doesn’t Have to Hurt: How to Use Criticism toStrengthen Relationships, Improve Performance, and Promote Change)。她说道,请求进行另外一次会面,“可以向你的老板表明,你愿意接受他想要告诉你的建议。”

  That’s important because, in Bright’s view, the first job of anyone on the receiving end of anevaluation is to make the person who is giving it feel comfortable. Surprised? “Think aboutit,” says Bright. “Most managers hate giving performance appraisals, because they dreadhow someone is going to react to anything negative. So they tend to rush through thediscussion just to get it over with.”


  The trouble, of course, is that the boss may be in such a hurry that he or she skips overinformation that could make or break your career. “What you can learn in a performanceappraisal are things you may need, not just right now, but later on,” notes Bright. In herconsulting work, she has often been called in to counsel talented managers whose careershad hit a brick wall because of shortcomings and bad habits that a string of bosses had triedto warn them about for years.


  So how do you get a grip on your emotions while you’re listening? Focusing on making yourboss feel at ease is a good start, since it automatically shifts your attention away from youremotions. Then, says Bright, “Remind yourself that you are the one in control here. How yourespond will determine how the discussion goes, and how much or little you get out of it.”The sense of panic you mention could be diminished, or dispelled, if you recognize thateven if you’re not saying a word, your role here isn’t a passive one.


  Next, concentrate on finding out what specific actions you need to take (or stop taking). “Make sure you know the difference between a fact and an opinion,” Bright suggests. “’Youwere $30,000 over budget on the XYZ project’ is a fact. ‘You don’t communicate wellenough with your peers’ is an opinion.” Since most bosses have had little, if any, training ingiving effective feedback, the two types of feedback may very well be tangled up together,but you can usually tell an opinion by how vague it is.


  “Trying to guess what your boss wants won’t work,” says Bright. “People end up guessingwrong, and then they get another vague, critical opinion in their next review, and concludethat they can never please this boss.”


  Instead, ask for particular steps that would solve the perceived problem. “For example, youmight suggest starting to ‘communicate better with your peers’ by updating them in personevery week instead of through an occasional email,” says Bright. Approaching this like anyother task you do at work, by coming up with a practical fix or two, should help take most ofthe emotion out of it.


  Since you mention that this is your first “real job” after college, you probably have four or fivedecades of work ahead of you. So it might help to keep a sense of perspective. “People oftenget upset about a so-so performance review because they think it will damage their wholecareer,” says Bright. “But it’s just one review, in one year, and companies’ goals andstrategies change from one year to the next anyway. I’ve never seen a situation where one ortwo ‘meets expectations’ evaluations — out of, say, 10 or 20 ‘exceeds expectations’ — madeany real difference in the long run.”


  Moreover, even presidents, popes, and CEOs get harpooned, sometimes on a daily basis. “Noone goes through a whole career hearing only great feedback,” Bright observes. “In fact, ifyou haven’t heard any constructive criticism lately, it means you probably aren’t learninganything.”


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