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如果你是老板,谁会给你忠言?

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小编摘要:当你成为老板之后,向下属征求反馈就成了一件操心的事。然而,在今天的商业世界中,征求反馈是非常必要的。以下几种方法可以使这个过程变得顺畅而有裨益。

Asking for feedback when you're the boss is a fraught enterprise, but it's an essential one in today's business world. Here are a few ways to make the process a smooth, helpful one.

A chief executive at a fast growing tech start-up recently approached executive coach Dave Kashen with an all-too common problem. The CEO frequently reached out to his executive team for feedback, but whenever he sought their opinions, his subordinates seemed to shut down and withdraw.

"It turned out that without even realizing it, my client was undermining the feedback his direct reports were providing," says Kashen. "He thought he was just adding value to their ideas with his own. But every time he jumped on one of their ideas, he was having exactly the opposite effect."

Every interaction between manager and employee has the potential for disaster -- especially when the boss is the one looking for feedback. And the higher up you go in a company, the tougher it is to get honest opinions about your effectiveness as a leader.

"Leaders send out subtle signals that encourage subordinates to mute their criticisms and exaggerate their praise," says Marshall Goldsmith, a pioneer in the field of executive coaching who has worked with more than 100 CEOs of major corporations.

On the flip side, CEOs often find that their suggestions take on a far greater magnitude than what they intended.

"It's called CEO amplification," says Stephen Miles, a vice chairman at Heidrick & Struggles who has coached chief executives of many large global corporations, including Nokia's (NOK) Stephen Elop and BHP Billiton's (BHP) Marius Kloppers. "Employees tend to exaggerate the importance of anything the CEO says."

Yet in today's rapidly evolving, connected company, leaders need to engage and involve the people around them to succeed.

"The traditional hierarchical model of leadership doesn't work anymore," says Goldsmith. "Tasks have grown too complex, and information too widely distributed, for a CEO to solve every problem on his own. The effective leader of today needs to consistently ask for feedback."

So what's a 21st century corporate chief to do?

The first step is to create an environment where employees feel it's safe to be honest and open.

"One of the reasons American auto makers ran into trouble is that their employees were afraid to speak up during product launches when things were going wrong," says John Baldoni, a Michigan based leadership development consultant and author of Lead Your Boss: The Subtle Art of Managing Up.

Baldoni says one of the keys to the recent success of Ford (F) CEO Alan Mullally is that he made it safe for his employees to raise their hands.

One important way to get there is to disengage the feedback process from that uncomfortable and largely useless annual ritual: the performance review.

Dan Pink, the author of Drive, The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, calls performance reviews, "the West's form of kabuki theatre -- highly stylized rituals in which people recite predictable lines in a formulaic way." This is hardly the place to expect genuine and useful feedback.

If you have to do them, "performance reviews should be formal, and reserved solely for discussions about compensation," says Baldoni, "Whereas feedback should be ongoing and conversational."

So, de-emphasize the review forms and focus on the frequent bits of feedback that actually promote learning. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Another effective strategy for a CEO to ensure honest feedback is to set up an easy mechanism to receive it anonymously. Goldsmith conducts interviews with the executive team around his CEO clients, and then collates it and delivers the results. And there are several web-based tools that provide similar services.

"You are never going to get any real information by asking for public, personal feedback," says Goldsmith.

A CEO who signals their belief in the importance of open, honest feedback will create a cascade effect -- a feedback fountain that flows down throughout the organization. The simple act of asking -- and making it safe to respond honestly -- will change the behavior of your team.

"If a CEO is willing and able to separate ideas from the people delivering them, it can be the best thing in the world. You get creative tension without social conflict," says Heidrick & Struggles' Stephen Miles.

Indeed, a recent research study of leadership development programs at eight major corporations, including American Express (AXP) and GE (GE), conducted by Goldsmith and his colleague Howard Morgan concluded that "leaders who discussed their own improvement priorities with their co-workers, and then regularly followed up, showed striking improvement" in their ability to translate their priorities from senior management down through the corporation. Meanwhile, "leaders who did not have ongoing dialogue with colleagues showed improvement that barely exceeded random chance."

In other words, it's not enough just to get feedback. Like working out, if you want to get in shape as a leader, you have to do something about it.

The vice chairman and CEO of India's HCL Technologies, Vineet Nayar, has been universally praised for creating an employee-centric corporate culture. Nayar's HCL Technologies was recently named the best employer in India by human resources firm Hewitt Associates.

"My belief is that I cannot motivate anybody," Nayar recently wrote on his CEO blog. "That is because I believe everybody has to motivate themselves. What I can do is to create an environment that will encourage this… for if management is accountable to employees, it automatically creates a culture conducive to self-motivated employees."


最近,一家快速成长的科技型初创企业的首席执行官找到了高管培训师戴夫?卡什恩,向卡什恩提出了一个极为普遍的问题:他经常向公司的管理团队寻求反馈,然而每当他征求下属意见的时候,下属们却往往闭口不言。

卡什恩指出:“原来这位老板经常抨击来自直接下属的反馈,而他自己根本没有意识到这一点。他以为他在用自己的聪明才智给下属的想法锦上添花,然而每次他对下属的主意横加斥责时,都造成了截然相反的效果。”

管理者和员工间的每次互动都有可能造成灾难性后果——尤其是当老板寻求反馈的时候。而你在公司里的位置越高,就越难如实了解大家怎样看待你的领导效果。

马歇尔?戈德史密斯说:“领导们会发出微妙的信号,促使下属收回批评的言论,多说溢美之辞。”戈德史密斯是高管培训领域的先驱者,他为各大企业培训过100多名首席执行官。

另一方面,首席执行官们常常发现,他们的建议对下属所造成的影响,往往超出了他们的本意。

Heidrick & Struggles公司的副总裁史蒂芬?麦尔斯曾经培训过不少大型跨国企业的首席执行官,其中包括诺基亚公司(Nokia)的史蒂芬?艾洛普(Stephen Elop)、必和必拓公司(BHP Billiton)的高瑞思(Marius Kloppers)。麦尔斯指出:“这种情形被称为‘首席执行官放大效应’,员工们很容易夸大首席执行官说的每一句话的重要性。”

当今的企业环境具有快速演变、高度联系的特征,领导者要想成功,就需要让身边的人同心协力。

“传统领导艺术的等级模式已经不再有效了,”戈德史密斯说,“如今任务变得过于复杂,信息分布得过于广泛,光靠首席执行官单枪匹马无法解决所有的问题。今天,有效的领导者需要不断征求反馈。”

那么,21世纪的企业高管究竟应该怎么做?

第一步是要建立一个宽松的言论环境,让员工畅所欲言。

约翰?巴尔多尼是密歇根州的一位领导力发展顾问,也是《领导你的老板:管理的微妙艺术》( Lead Your Boss: The Subtle Art of Managing Up)一书的作者。他说道:“美国的汽车制造商陷入麻烦的原因之一,就是在推出产品的过程中,即便有什么事情出了错,员工也不敢开口。”

巴尔多尼认为,福特汽车公司(Ford)首席执行官艾伦?穆拉里最近之所以会获得成功,一个关键的原因就是他让员工们敢于发言。

如果你也想达到这种效果,有一点十分重要:取消那个令人不快、而且几乎没什么效果的“年度保留节目”——业绩评估中的反馈程序。

《驱动力:有关激励的惊人真相》(Drive, The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us)一书的作者丹?品克将业绩评估称为“西方的歌舞伎剧院——一个高度程式化的仪式,人们背诵着不出所料的台词,机械地走走过场。”你很难用这个方式获得真正有用的反馈。

如果你必须要做业绩评估的话,“业绩评估应该是正式的,而且只用来讨论薪酬问题,”巴尔多尼说,“而反馈则应该以谈话的方式,在企业内部经常进行。”

因此,我们要尽量弱化业绩评估的重要性,转而注重经常性地获取少量反馈,这样才真正有助于改进工作。你越经常这样做,它就会变得越容易。

另一个能使首席执行官获得诚实反馈的方法,是建立一个匿名接收反馈的机制。例如戈德史密斯就会对其客户手下的管理团队进行访谈,然后收集并向客户汇报反馈结果。此外,有些基于网络的工具也可以提供类似的服务。

“如果你要求下属公开给出个人反馈,那么你永远得不到任何真实的信息,”戈德史密斯说。

如果一位首席执行官释放出一种信号,让下属相信他需要的是开诚布公的、诚实的反馈,那么这会造成一种连锁效应,他会源源不断地得到来自企业各个方面的反馈。你只需要简单地要求大家做出反馈,并且确保“言者无罪”,就会改变团队的行为。

史蒂芬?麦尔斯表示:“如果首席执行官愿意而且能够做到就事论事,言者无罪,那就最好不过了。你无需造成人际冲突,就可以获得创造性的张力。”

不久前,针对包括美国运通(American Express)和通用电气(GE)在内的8家大企业,戈德史密斯和他的同事霍华德?摩根进行了一项关于领导力发展方案的调研。他们的研究发现,“有些领导人经常把自己的工作重点拿来与同事们讨论,并且定期进行跟进,”对于这些领导人来说,他们都善于将管理层的工作重点从上至下地贯彻到整个公司,而且这种能力还在以惊人的速度提高。而对于那些不经常与同事谈话的领导人来说,他们很难提高这种能力。”

换句话说,仅仅获得反馈是不够的。当领导就像健身一样,如果你想当个好领导,就必须付出努力。

印度HCL Technologies公司的副董事长兼首席执行官维尼特?纳亚成功地建设了以员工为中心的企业文化,因此受到广泛赞誉。该公司最近被人力资源公司翰威特咨询公司(Hewitt Associates)评选为“印度最佳雇主”。

纳亚最近在他的官方博客上写道:“我相信我无法激励任何人,因为每个人都必须自我激励,我能做的只是创造一个鼓励大家自我激励的环境……因为如果管理层对员工负责的话,它就会自动创造出让员工自我激励的氛围。”
标签:老板 忠言
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2011-01-27 09:51 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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