意外的共同點

By Rick Boxx

幾年前,一位朋友向我抱怨他已連續解僱他們公司一個重要職位的許多員工。他說:「他們都是白痴,沒有一個人符合我的標準。」

在聽了他細數每一位前員工的所謂缺點後,而我也知道我的朋友一直與完美主義掙扎,我了解真正的問題。我看得很清楚,問題不在那些前員工們──而是在僱用他們的人。

當我的朋友結束了他對那些員工的負面評價後,我試著盡量以不批判的口氣評論道:「在每位員工的情況中,我只看到一個共同點。」他立刻知道我是在指他。他把我的觀點納入考慮,並決定採用我的看法去修正他對那職位的期待。最近他告訴我,他很感謝我溫和的責備。

其實我本來可以保持沉默,只要聽我朋友抱怨即可,不需提出任何回應。但我覺得讓他從一個客觀的角度去看自己的困境是重要的。雖然提出建設性的批評而不冒犯對方可能不容易,但有時一個關心的責備正是朋友所需要的。

如聖經舊約中的箴言28章23節所教導:「責備人的,後來蒙人喜悅,多於那用舌頭諂媚人的。

像這樣的情況還有另外一面──對方接受善意糾正的程度,以及將來在行動時是否會考慮到你的糾正。我的朋友可以對我的觀察──他是許多員工無法留在那職位的「共同因素」──嗤之以鼻,但他謙卑地考慮我所說的,並決定要採取更正的步驟。以下是箴言對責備和糾正的一些其他想法:

願意接受糾正就導致成功。一個誠摯的責備是一種形式的管教,因為提出糾正的人通常是要幫忙提出一個解決問題的辦法,使每個人都受惠。如箴言10章17節所說:「謹守訓誨的,乃在生命的道上;違棄責備的,便失迷了路。」箴言13章18節又說:「棄絕管教的,必致貧受辱;領受責備的,必得尊榮。

不願考慮接受好意責備的人是愚昧的。在我們的工作環境中,我們常常因為太靠近問題而沒看出正確的解決方法。一個我們信任之朋友或同事的洞見可以提供我們容易忽略的資訊。「喜愛管教的,就是喜愛知識;恨惡責備的,卻是畜類」(箴言12章1節)。

一個及時的責備能避開災難。若你在一條不熟悉的路上開車,可能開進排水溝裡,你會希望有位熟悉這地區的人警示前方的危險。同樣的,若你在作一個危險決定的邊緣,你也會希望有人警示。「智慧人的法則(或譯:指教)是生命的泉源,可以使人離開死亡的網羅」(箴言13章14節)。

本文版權為正直資源中心(Integrity Resource Center, Inc.)所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克.博克思的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。想要更多了解正直資源中心或想要收到電子文件的「瑞克每天的正直時刻Rick”s daily Integrity Moments」系列文章,請上網www.integrityresource.org。他的書「如何生意興隆而不犧牲正直」提供人們正直地作生意的方法。

省思 / 討論問題
你對於別人的糾正或責備一向如何回應?你會變得有防衛心,或者你通常會考慮所說的話有道理,並決定你應該採取行動?請解釋。 從相反的角度看這個主題,當你相信某人以不恰當的方式做某事或做錯時,你覺得責備或糾正那人有多容易──或多困難?若可能,請舉一個例子。 箴言為何說提出必要責備的人「後來蒙人喜悅,多於那用舌頭諂媚人的」?你相信這是真的嗎?為什麼? 本文引自箴言的其他原則中,哪一項最適用在你身上,或對你最有意義?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言9章8-9節,13章1節,27章5節;傳道書7章5節;路加福音17章3-4節;提摩太前書5章1節;提摩太後書3章16節,4章2節

THE UNEXPECTED “COMMON DENOMINATOR”
By Rick Boxx

Years ago, a friend was complaining to me about several employees he had fired in succession after they had held a particular key position in his company. "They are all idiots," he said. "None of them measured up to what I want."



After listening to him detail the supposed shortcomings of each of those past employees, and also knowing my friend had always struggled with perfectionism, I understood the real problem. The issue, it seemed clear to me, was not the former employees – but the man that employed them.

When my friend concluded his negative appraisals of the workers, I tried to sound as non-judgmental as possible as I commented, "I only see one common denominator in all of this."
He immediately knew I was referring to him. Taking my perspective into consideration, he determined to use that information to revise his expectations for the job. Recently he told me how grateful he was for my gentle rebuke.

Obviously I could have kept quiet and simply listened to my friend”s complaint without offering any feedback. But I felt it was important that he see his dilemma from an objective viewpoint. Even though it might not always be easy to offer constructive criticism without the risk of offending, sometimes a caring rebuke is what a friend needs.

As Proverbs 28:23 in the Old Testament of the Bible teaches, "He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue."


There is another side to situations like this – the degree of willingness by the other party to accept well-intended correction and take it into account for future action. My friend could have dismissed my observation that he was the “common denominator” in the failure of the terminated employees. Instead, he humbly thought about what I had said and determined to take corrective steps. Here are some other thoughts from the book of Proverbs about rebuke and correction:

Willingness to accept correction leads to success. A sincere rebuke is a form of discipline, because the person offering the corrective words is usually seeking to help in bringing about a reasonable solution to a problem, one that can benefit everyone involved. As Proverbs 10:17 states, “He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.” Proverbs 13:18 adds, “He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.

Unwillingness to consider a kindly rebuke is foolish. In our work situations, often we find ourselves too close to problems to see the right solution. The insights of a trusted friend or colleague can provide information we could easily ignore or overlook. “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid” (Proverbs 12:1).

A timely rebuke can avert devastating consequences. If you were driving on an unfamiliar road and about to go into a ditch, you would want someone familiar with the area to warn you of impending danger. The same is true if you are on the verge of making a disastrous decision. “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death” (Proverbs 13:14).

Copyright 2012, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick”s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org. His book, How to Prosper in Business Without Sacrificing Integrity, gives a biblical approach for doing business with integrity.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
How do you typically respond to words of correction or rebuke? Do you become defensive, or are you usually receptive to considering the validity of what is being said and determine what action, if any, you should take? Explain your answer. Looking at this subject from the opposite angle, how easy – or difficult – do you find it to rebuke or correct someone else when you believe that person is doing something improperly or in error? Give an example if you can. Why do you think the verse from Proverbs states that the person giving a necessary rebuke will “in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue”? Do you believe that is true? Why or why not? Which of the other principles cited from Proverbs – if any – seem most applicable or significant to you?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 9:8-9, 13:1, 27:5; Ecclesiastes 7:5; Luke 17:3-4; 1 Timothy 5:1; 2 Timothy 3:16, 4:2

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