兩人比一人好

最近我與女婿一起做了一個居家工程。剛開始看起來似乎很簡單,但若不是我們一起合作,其實是相當困難的。我的女婿在機械方面很有天份,他其實可以一個人完成,但有了我的幫忙,工作就進行得更快速。我不是個手巧的人,若沒有女婿的指導,我就會茫無頭緒。

在我的職業生涯中,也常常看到這種情形。身為報社編輯,我指揮記者去搜集新聞、報導並編輯。但其他人要攝影、賣廣告、排版、印刷、寄發給訂閱者、開帳單、作會計。

身為雜誌編輯,我負責全盤的內容,也兼一些寫作。但許多其他人貢獻了文章和照片,還有人畫圖,有一個設計小組結合每篇報導的內容,設計出一個吸引人的包裝,我的行政助理關注重要的細節,而印刷廠把我們的素材製造出一本「書」。許多時候,當我看到每期的第一本雜誌印出來時,我都不禁感嘆,「多人的合作實在比個人的努力有更大的成就」。

若你仔細想想,就會發現你的工作場所也是如此。你有特定的工作責任,但許多其他的人也提供其他貢獻,使你能達成想要的結果。聖經以簡單的話形容這種情況:「兩個人總比一個人好,因為二人勞碌同得美好的果效。若是跌倒,這人可以扶起他的同伴;若是孤身跌倒,沒有別人扶起他來,這人就有禍了…有人攻勝孤身一人,若有二人便能敵擋他;三股合成的繩子不容易折斷」(傳道書4章9-12節)。

這種情況的管理術語是:交互合成。這意味著為了共同的利益或目標,把各別的力量、天份、技能、經驗以互補的方式結合起來。工商專業界常常聚焦在「明星」身上,那些明星是表現得比同儕更好的人。然而,即使最有天份的人也需要各種行政、後勤的支援。聖經也記載了團隊合作的其他益處:

我們使彼此敏銳。就像用磨刀石把刀子磨得鋒利,我們與別人的互動也會使我們變得敏銳,即使這會發生某種程度的磨擦和衝突。「鐵磨鐵,磨出刃來;朋友相感也是如此」(箴言27章17節)。

我們擔當彼此的重擔。獨自一人工作時,可能很難擔負工作的重擔或責任。然而與別人一起工作時,重擔就變得較輕,而且似乎沒有那麼困難。「你們各人的重擔要互相擔當,如此,就完全了基督的律法」(加拉太書6章2節)。

我們提高彼此的士氣。團隊合作有很大的情緒及心理價值--同志情感、團隊精神--以及實質上的益處。「又要彼此相顧,激發愛心,勉勵行善。你們不可停止聚會,好像那些停止慣了的人,倒要彼此勸勉…」(希伯來書10章24-25節)。

我們朝相同的方向努力。在理想的狀況下,我們應該與有同樣使命、願景和價值觀的人一起工作。「你們和不信的原不相配,不要同負一軛。義和不義有什麼相交呢﹖光明和黑暗有什麼相通呢﹖」(哥林多後書6章14節)。

思想 / 討論題目
在大多數情況中,你是與一些人一起工作或獨立作業?你喜歡哪一種工作型態? 請想想你曾做過哪一項工作,若獨自作業就無法完成。有誰幫助了你?他們對整個工作有何貢獻? 若你在工作上要協助別人,但對方卻拒絕,你會如何反應?你是否相信,在任何狀況下兩個人都比一個人好?為什麼? 本文所列團隊工作的益處中,哪一項對你最有意義?你還可以想到其他的益處嗎?
註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言11章14節15章22節,19章20節,20章18節;馬太福音11章30節;加拉太書6章1-6節;希伯來書12章1節

TWO (OR MORE) ARE BETTER THAN ONE
By: Robert J. Tamasy

My son-in-law and I recently took on a household project that seemed relatively simple, but in reality would have been much more difficult if we had not been working together. David, being very gifted mechanically, could have performed the task on his own, but with my help the job went much more quickly. I, being the very antithesis of the word “handyman,” would have been hopelessly lost without David”s insights and instruction.

During my professional career, this principle has manifested itself repeatedly. As a newspaper editor, I directed the gathering of news, the reporting and editing. But others were required to take photos, sell advertising, lay out the pages, print and assemble the newspapers, deliver them to the readers, and do billing and accounting.

As a magazine editor, I was responsible for overall content and did some of the writing. But many others contributed articles and photographs, someone did illustrations, a design team combined the elements into an attractive package, my administrative assistant focused on important details, and a printer took our raw material and produced the “book.” Many times, upon seeing the magazine in print for the first time, I could not help but to observe, “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”

If you think about it, this is true of your workplace as well. You have specific job responsibilities, but there are many others that contribute in one way or another toward achieving the desired end result. The Bible describes this in simple terms: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!… Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

There is a management term for this: Synergy. This refers to corresponding, complementary strengths; a combining of respective strengths, gifts, skills and experience for the common good or a shared goal. Too often the business and professional world is focused on “stars” – individuals who rise to achievement levels far above their peers. Yet, even the most talented people need administrative, clerical and logistical support of many kinds. Here are other benefits of teamwork, as presented in the Bible:

We keep one another sharp. Similar to a knife being sharpened on a cutting stone, we become “sharpened” through our interactions with others, even when that involves some measure of friction and conflict. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:7).

We share in each other”s load. Working in isolation, our task or responsibilities may seem unbearable. Working with others, however, the burden becomes lighter and seems more manageable. “Carry each other”s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

We lift one another”s spirits. Teamwork has great emotional and psychological value – camaraderie, esprit de corps – as well as physical benefits. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

We pull in the same direction. Ideally, we should work with people who share our sense of mission, our vision and our values. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common. Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

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 of 38 years in professional journalism, he is the author of Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential. For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
In most cases, do you work primarily with a team of people or independently? Which do you prefer? Think of a project that you could not have brought to completion by working alone. Who assisted you, and what were their contributions to the overall effort? How do you respond to people that decline assistance when it is offered? Do you believe that “two are better than one” is always true? Why or why not? Which of the other benefits of teamwork listed seems most significant to you? Can you think of any others?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:

Proverbs 11:14,15:22, 19:20, 20:18; Matthew 11:30; Galatians 6:1-6; Hebrews 12:1

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