尋求多方意見的價值

By Robert J. Tamasy

前些時候我接到一位朋友的電話,他告訴我他正計畫開創一項新事業,他知道我善於運用文字,於是他問我,身為一位作家,可否幫他的事業想一個吸引人、好行銷的公司名稱。

在為新創事業想一個好名字之前,我問我的朋友是否已經做功課,研究過開創這項特別型態公司的利弊。他說他做了分析與瞭解,而且熱切地準備上路。我對那種型態的事業不熟悉,但我有兩個朋友之前曾經從事過那樣的行業。所以我要我的這位朋友去聯絡他們,問問他們的意見。我並不是要潑他冷水或要他改變主意,而是要確保他能夠檢視那項事業的所有層面,以避免將來出問題。

幾年前我學到了一個做決定的重要原則。我們經常傾向於根據情緒做決定,然後再找出有利的事實去證明我們的決定--用事實去支持我們想要採取的行動。有時這樣行得通,但有時候這種情緒優先,事實第二的作法會導致災難。感覺往往能夠且常常會蒙蔽健全的判斷。

那麼我們要如何避免這種潛在的危險?藉著尋求別人的建議,尋求我們信任之人明智的意見,那怕他們並不一定會同意和支持我們想要做的事。

箴言對此主題談到許多。例如,它說道:「無智謀,民就敗落; 謀士多,人便安居」(箴言11章14節)。另一處經文告訴我們:「不先商議,所謀無效; 謀士眾多,所謀乃成」(箴言15章22節)。以下是箴言中其他有關做決定並尋求他人意見的原則:

不要只相信自己的判斷。決定--尤其是匆促的決定--很容易被合理化。「這是一個千載難逢的機會,若我現在不行動,就會錯失!」我們會這樣辯解。或者我們會告訴自己:「他們(那些不同意我們的人)不了解。」但箴言28章26節警告說:「心中自是的,便是愚昧人;憑智慧行事的,必蒙拯救。」

從他人的意見中可顯示出自己錯誤的想法。我們是否根據情緒,或沒有考慮所有的相關因素就做決定?明智的意見提供者能提供確信,或顯示出我們想法的錯誤。「愚妄人所行的,在自己眼中看為正直; 惟智慧人肯聽人的勸教」(箴言12章15節)。

以謙卑姿態去傾聽別人的意見就是一個明智的舉動。向他人請教意見是一項謙卑的行為,尤其是當我們自認為自己是對的。但我們是要為目標做出正確的決定,所以謙卑地尋求別人的意見是必須的。「你要聽勸教,受訓誨, 使你終久有智慧」(箴言19章20節)。「我兒,不可聽了教訓 而又偏離知識的言語」(箴言19章27節)。

有人說:「後見之明是最好的經驗」。當我們正在思考困難且複雜的決定時,若有人能夠提供他們辛苦得到的「後見之明」,使我們不必重蹈覆轍的忍受愚昧和失敗的痛苦,就是最寶貴的經驗與意見。

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。

省思/討論題目
你是否曾經做過一個重要,甚至改變生命的決定,但沒有先徵詢別人的意見,結果你卻為自己的決定感到後悔?若是如此,那是甚麼決定?又為你帶來甚麼後果? 你是否覺得去找朋友和你信任的人,尋求他們的建議是很容易的事?但為何有些人覺得尋求別人的意見是件困難的事? 你想要做一個艱困的決定,在你願意尋求意見的人中,甚麼建議是你想要尋找的?你會採用甚麼「選擇標準」? 在作複雜的決定時,會碰到那些挑戰?我們要如何決定何時是向信任的顧問徵詢意見的最好時刻?註:若你有聖經且想要讀更多有關此主題的經文,請參考以下經節:詩篇19章7-11節;箴言3章5-6節,13章1節,20章18節,24章5-6節;提摩太後書3章16-17節


THE VALUE OF HAVING MANY ADVISERS
By Robert J. Tamasy

Some time ago I received a phone call from a friend who told me about a new business venture he was planning. He asked if I, being a writer, could come up with a catchy, marketable title for the enterprise. My friends know me as the guy who is never at a loss for words.

Before starting to think of clever names for the business start-up, I asked my friend if he had done his due diligence in researching the pros and cons of this particular type of company. He said he had already done that, and was eager to get underway. I had no background in that type of business, but two of my friends had engaged in ventures like that in the past. So I urged my friend to contact them and ask for their feedback. My desire was not to discourage him or change his mind, but to ensure he had examined all aspects of the proposed business to avoid problems in the future.

Years ago I learned an important principle of decision-making. We tend to make decisions based on emotion, then justify those decisions with facts – facts to support the course of action we want to take. Sometimes this works, but other times an emotions-first, facts-second approach can lead to disaster. Feelings can and frequently do cloud sound judgment.

So how do we avoid this potential pitfall? By seeking advice and wise counsel from people we trust – even those who are not certain to agree with and support whatever we wish to do.

The book of Proverbs has much to say on this topic. For instance, it states, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure” (Proverbs 11:14). A similar passage tells us, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). Here are other principles from Proverbs that relate to decision-making and seeking advice from others:

Be wary of trusting our own judgment alone. Decisions – especially hasty ones – can be very easily justified and excused. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and if I do not act now, I will miss out!” we reason. Or we tell ourselves, “They (those who disagree with us) simply do not understand.” But Proverbs 28:26 warns, “He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.”

Seeking advice from others can reveal faulty thinking. Are we making decisions based on emotions, or without considering all the factors involved? Wise advisers can offer assurance – or reveal flaws in our reasoning. “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15).

Humbling ourselves to listen to advice is itself an act of wisdom. Turning to others for their counsel can seem humbling, especially when we already believe we are right. But if our goal is to make the right decisions, the humility to consult with others is an asset. “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise” (Proverbs 19:20). “Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge” (Proverbs 19:27).

It is said that “Hindsight is 20:20.” In seeking wise counsel – especially when pondering difficult, complex decisions – others can offer their own hard-earned “20:20 hindsight” without our having to gain it through the pain of foolishness and failure.

© 2016. Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Have you ever made an important, even life-changing decision without consulting others and asking for their advice – one that you later regretted? If so, what decision did you make and what were the consequences you had to deal with? How easy is it for you to approach friends and people you trust, asking for their advice? Why do you think some people find it so difficult to seek counsel from others? If trying to arrive at a difficult decision, what would you look for in people from whom you would be willing to request advice? What “selection criteria” would you use? What are some of the challenges involved in making complex decisions, and how can we best determine when the time has come to consult with trusted advisers?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Psalm 19:7-11; Proverbs 3:5-6, 13:1, 20:18, 24:5-6; 2 Timothy 3:16-17

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