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职场商务英语:带着空气清新剂

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职场商务英语:带着空气清新剂

在过去的11年里,我写了一篇关于工作场所的建议专栏,回答人们的来信,内容从如何告诉经理你的工作量太高到如何对待一个有气味的同事。
我当时在邮件中看到的最大主题之一就是很多人想知道——我怎样才能让我的老板或同事改变他们的行为,而不必和他们谈论这件事?换句话说,我们很多人都希望有一种神奇的咒语,可以让我们不用用语言就能解决问题。人们真的希望避免直接对话,尤其是如果有任何尴尬的可能。
例如,我曾听到一些人沉默了好几个月,而不是要求同事停止用扬声器接电话,或者关掉一个响亮的手机铃声。我听说有些人花太多时间忍受身体不舒服的工作环境——比如一张疼痛的椅子或者空气清新剂,实际上会让他们恶心——而不是与能解决问题的人快速交谈。甚至那些在想要改变某些事情时拥有明确发言权的管理者,在避免直接对话时,也可能是最糟糕的冒犯者。
当然,没有人期待可能尴尬或不舒服的对话,但事实是,如果你愿意大声疾呼并要求得到你想要的,你的职业生活会取得更好的结果,而且通常工作上的生活质量也会好得多。当然,这并不意味着要用咄咄逼人或敌对的方式说话,这似乎是人们有时想象他们必须做的事情。取而代之的是,我们的想法是冷静地、实事求是地说出来——语气类似于您通常所说的“我似乎无法让这个软件工作”或“您能帮我和客户解决这个问题吗?”“
如果你这么做,你可能会发现大多数人都是合情合理的。大多数人都想知道他们是否在做让你恼火或让你不开心的事——或者空气清新剂,让你生病。大多数人不会因为你发起了一个关于你需要什么的平静、有礼貌的谈话而感到不安,而且你不会被理智的人认为是个混蛋。

For the last 11 years, I’ve written a workplace advice column, answering people’s letters on everything from how to tell a manager your workload is too high to what to do about a colleague who smells.
 
One of the biggest themes I’ve seen in my mail in that time is that a lot of people want to know – how do I get my boss or my colleague to change their behavior without me actually having to talk to them about it? In other words, an awful lot of us are hoping that there will be some sort of magical spell that will let us solve problems without ever having to use our words. People really want to avoid direct conversations, especially if there’s any potential for awkwardness.
 
For example, I’ve heard from people who stew in silence for months rather than asking a colleague to please stop taking all their calls on speakerphone, or to turn down a loud cellphone ring. I’ve heard from people who spend way too long tolerating physically uncomfortable working conditions – like a painful chair or an air freshener that literally nauseates them – rather than have a quick conversation with the person who could fix it. And even managers, who have the clear authority to speak up when they want something to change, can be some of the worst offenders when it comes to shying away from direct conversation.
 
While certainly no one looks forward to a conversation that might be awkward or uncomfortable, the reality is that you’ll get far better results in your professional life – and usually have far better quality of life at work – if you’re willing to speak up and ask for what you want. Of course, that doesn’t mean speaking up in an aggressive or adversarial way, which seems to be what people sometimes imagine they’d have to do. Instead, the idea is to speak up calmly and matter-of-factly – in a tone similar to the one that you’d use to say “I can’t seem to get this software to work” or “could you help me solve this problem with a client?”
 
If you do that, you’re likely to find that most people are reasonable. Most people want to know if they’re doing something that’s aggravating you or making you unhappy – or in the case of that air freshener, making you physically ill. Most people won’t be upset that you initiated a calm, polite conversation about what you need, and you’re not going to come across as a jerk to reasonable people.

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