By Robert J. Tamasy
勞勃．泰默西是領袖資產協會的交通部副部長，這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有40年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業：箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」（Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace）。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」（The Heart of Mentoring）。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com 。
思想 / 討論題目
請描述你自己「情緒筒」現在的狀態。它是滿的或快滿，或者到達危險的耗盡狀態？請解釋。 你是否善於存入別人的「情緒筒」？你是否認為這是你應該關心的事？為什麼？ 請回想有一次你覺得沮喪或洩氣，不論在工作中或個人生活中，然而某人的良言讓你振作起來？ 當時是什麼情況？那讓你有何感覺？ 你覺得人們有可能說出「誠實但殘酷的話」的嗎？請想一個方式去提供建設性的批評，而不嚴重地傷害別人的自尊心。若你想出一個像那樣的情況，請說出一個可以鼓勵人的方式，以及另一個使人氣餒的方式。註：若你有聖經且想參考有關此主題的其他聖經經文，請查看以下經節：
ARE YOUR DEPOSITS EXCEEDING YOUR WITHDRAWALS?
By Robert J. Tamasy
Revenue and expenses. Credits and debits. Assets and liabilities. Deposits and withdrawals. Each of these terms is used in the business and professional world to measure what is commonly referred to as “the bottom line.” If you can keep your revenues ahead of your expenses, accumulate more credits than debits, and hold more assets than liabilities, your business is probably in good shape.
Deposits and withdrawals are typically utilized in banking terminology, but they also can be used in terms of relationships, whether in the home or the workplace. We each have what psychologists call an “emotional tank,” and when that “tank” is full, we feel contented and at ease; when the tank is depleted, we feel discontented and stressed.
There are numerous ways for making deposits into someone”s emotional storehouse, such as offering time and attention. Sometimes an appropriate, caring touch can be helpful, too. But one of the best methods for filling another person”s emotional tank is through the timely, careful use of words. However, ill-timed and carelessly spoken words can diminish emotional supplies just as easily.
I remember having bosses who did both. One had a knack for encouraging me, especially at times when I had failed to meet his and my own expectations. He always had a way of assuring me, “You will do better next time.” Another boss, however, rarely had anything positive to say to me. “If you don”t hear from me, just assume everything is all right,” he once said. The problem was that I did hear from him whenever things if not “all right.”
Everyone”s need for emotional support and affirmation is different, but we all appreciate positive words from time to time as we confront the negatives of everyday. In “Monday Mannas” past we have discussed the power and impact of the tongue – pro and con – and it is useful to periodically revisit this aspect of workplace relationships. In particular, consider some insights given to us by the timeless “business manual,” the Bible:
Build up instead of tearing down. Under pressure, it is always easier to find fault than to give commendation. But the mark of good leaders is being able to develop and build up those that report to them, equipping them for ever greater challenges. To succeed at that, we need to learn to “catch people doing something right.” “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).
Strive to encourage, not to dishearten. Years ago when I was being considered for a job with a non-profit organization, I was a relative novice. I lacked valuable experience, but the people assessing candidates viewed me as a “diamond in the rough,” someone with potential worth investing in. When I was hired, my superiors taught me and treated me from that perspective, and in time felt rewarded for their confidence. “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).
Respond with kindness rather than anger. Faced with deadlines, or normal workday difficulties, we can thoughtlessly speak in harsh, hurtful ways to others. But by exerting patience and compassion, we can turn a tense situation into a positive, teachable moment. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist for 40 years, he is the author of Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.
Describe the state of your own “emotional tank” right now. Is it filled or nearly full, or is it dangerously depleted? Explain your answer. How good are you at assessing and depositing into the emotional reserves of others? Do you think this is something you should even be concerned about? Why or why not? Think of a time when you felt discouraged or deflated, whether at work or in your personal life, and someone”s well-chosen words gave you a lift? What was that situation, and how did it make you feel? Do you think it is possible to be too “brutally honest”? Think of a way of offering constructive criticism without causing serious damage to someone”s self-esteem. If you can think of a situation like that, tell how one approach can serve to encourage while another could dishearten the hearer.NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Proverbs 10:9, 10:32, 11:12, 13:3, 15:4,7, 16:21-24, 17:28, 18:7; James 3:3-6