《人性的弱点》第4篇第5章 让对方保持他的面子

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Years ago the General Electric Company was faced withthe delicate task of removing Charles Steinmetz fromthe head of a department. Steinmetz, a genius of the firstmagnitude when it came to electricity, was a failure asthe head of the calculating department. Yet the companydidn’t dare offend the man. He was indispensable - andhighly sensitive. So they gave him a new title. Theymade him Consulting Engineer of the General ElectricCompany - a new title for work he was already doing -and let someone else head up the department.

Steinmetz was happy.

So were the officers of G.E. They had gently maneuveredtheir most temperamental star, and they had doneit without a storm - by letting him save face.

Letting one save face! How important, how vitally importantthat is! And how few of us ever stop to think ofit! We ride roughshod over the feelings of others, gettingour own way, finding fault, issuing threats, criticizing achild or an employee in front of others, without evenconsidering the hurt to the other person’s pride.Whereas a few minutes’ thought, a consideratword ortwo, a genuine understanding of the other person’s attitude,would go so far toward alleviating the sting!

Let’s remember that the next time we are faced withthe distasteful necessity of discharging or reprimandingan employee.

“Firing employees is not much fun. Getting fired iseven less fun.” (I’m quoting now from a letter writtenme by Marshall A. Granger, a certified public accountant.)“Our business is mostly seasonal. Therefore wehave to let a lot of people go after the income tax rush isover.

It’s a byword in our profession that no one enjoyswielding the ax. Consequently, the custom has developed of getting it over as soon as possible, and usuallyin the following way: ‘Sit down, Mr. Smith. The season’sover, and we don’t seem to see any more assignments foryou. Of course, you understood you were only employedfor the busy season anyhow, etc., etc.’

“The effect on these people is one of disappointmentand a feeling of being ‘let down.’ Most of them are in theaccounting field for life, and they retain no particularlove for the firm that drops them so casually.

“I recently decided to let our seasonal personnel gowith a little more tact and consideration. So I call eachone in only after carefully thinking over his or her workduring the winter. And I’ve said something like this:‘Mr. Smith, you’ve done a fine job (if he has). That timewe sent you to Newark, you had a tough assignment.You were on the spot, but you came through with flyingcolors, and we want you to know the firm is proud ofyou. You’ve got the stuff - you’re going a long way,wherever you’re working. This firm believes in you, andis rooting for you, and we don’t want you to forget it.’

“Effect? The people go away feeling a lot better aboutbeing fired. They don’t feel ‘let down.’ They know if wehad work for them, we’d keep them on. And when weneed them again, they come to us with a keen personalaffection.”

At one session of our course, two class members discussedthe negative effects of faultfinding versus thepositive effects of letting the other person save face.

Fred Clark of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, told of an incidentthat occurred in his company: “At one of our productionmeetings, a vice president was asking verypointed questions of one of our production supervisorsregarding a production process. His tone of voice wasaggressive and aimed at pointing out faulty performanceon the part of the supervisor. Not wanting to be embarrassedin front of his peers, the supervisor was evasivein his responses. This caused the vice president to losehis temper, berate the supervisor and accuse him oflying.

“Any working relationship that might have existed prior to this encounter was destroyed in a few brief moments.This supervisor, who was basically a goodworker, was useless to our company from that time on. Afew months later he left our firm and went to work for acompetitor, where I understand he is doing a fine job.”

Another class member, Anna Mazzone, related how asimilar incident had occurred at her job - but what adifference in approach and results! Ms. Mazzone, a marketingspecialist for a food packer, was given her firstmajor assignment - the test-marketing of a new product.She told the class: “When the results of the test came in,I was devastated. I had made a serious error in my planning,and the entire test had to be done all over again.To make this worse, I had no time to discuss it with myboss before the meeting in which I was to make myreport on the project.

“When I was called on to give the report, I was shakingwith fright. I had all I could do to keep from breakingdown, but I resolved I would not cry and have all thosemen make remarks about women not being able to handlea management job because they are too emotional. Imade my report briefly and stated that due to an error Iwould repeat the study before the next meeting. I satdown, expecting my boss to blow up.

“Instead, he thanked me for my work and remarkedthat it was not unusual for a person to make an error ona new project and that he had confidence that the repeatsurvey would be accurate and meaningful to the company.He Assured me, in front of all my colleagues, thathe had faith in me and I knew I had done my best, andthat my lack of experience, not my lack of ability, wasthe reason for the failure.

I left that meeting with my head in the air andwith the determination that I would never let that bossof mine down again.”

Even if we are right and the other person is definitelywrong, we only destroy ego by causing someone to loseface. The legendary French aviation pioneer and authorAntoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote: "I have no right to sayor do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes.What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is acrime.”

A real leader will always follow . . .

PRINCIPLE 5 Let the other person save face.























标签:人性 弱点 面子
2011-02-09 10:21 编辑:kuaileyingyu