找一個解決辦法比衝撞好

By Robert J. Tamasy

上週的「週一嗎哪」讓我們看到不擇手段去得到我們所想要的東西,堅持滿足自我的後果。最近我從自然界看到一個例證,顯示出非常不同行為的美德。

這故事來自茲文利(Ulrich Zwingli),他是1500年代初期一位瑞士的基督教改革領袖。他與宗教改革的催化者馬丁路德(Martin Luther)陷入一場嚴重的爭論,而茲文利不知要如何解決這衝突。有一天早晨當他看到山邊的一個景象,他找到了解決之道。

他觀察到山邊的一條窄路上,兩隻山羊狹路相逢,一隻要上山,另一隻要下山。當牠們看到對方時,牠們停下腳步,然後低下頭。牠們顯然要衝向對方。然而牠們並沒有彼此衝撞,上山的山羊趴在狹路上。下山的羊就能踩在另一隻羊的背上,這樣兩隻羊都能不受阻礙地繼續走牠們的路。

若那兩隻羊選擇互相衝撞,其中一隻可能會獲勝。但結果也可能會兩敗俱傷。所以一方先低頭,謙卑下來,最後牠也能爬得更高。

在工商專業界我們是否常看到兩人或更多人專注在自己的目標上,決心不讓任何事擋到他們的路?當他們遭遇反對時,他們堅持互相衝撞,要打到頭破血流。

但讓我們思想茲文利從那兩隻公羊所學到的功課。其中一隻尊重另一隻,導致雙贏的結果。這種做法對解決職場上的衝突難道沒有價值嗎?這個原則在聖經中可找到許多支持。以下就是聖經談論此原則的一些例子:

卑微以致被高舉。願意尊重另一人的利益應該不是只有單方面的。當雙方都願意順從彼此,雙方都會受益。就像潛水艇沉入水中,順從別人意味著定意讓自己在別人之下。「又當存敬畏基督的心,彼此順服」(以弗所書5章21節)。

上司與下屬應該彼此相讓。商業界的習慣模式是上司對向他們報告的人施展權威,但最好的領袖是那些把員工利益放在心上的人。「你們作僕人(員工)的,要懼怕戰兢,用誠實的心聽從你們肉身的主人,好像聽從基督一般…你們作主人(上司)的,待僕人(員工)也是一理,不要威嚇他們。因為知道,他們和你們同有一位主在天上」(以弗所書6章5-9節)。

以謙卑的態度對待同事和上帝。謙卑地與別人相處,而不是要求你想要的事物,反而能贏得他們的善意和支持。「你們年幼的,也要順服年長的…。就是你們眾人也都要以謙卑束腰,彼此順服」(彼得前書5章5-6節)。「神阻擋驕傲的人,賜恩給謙卑的人。故此,你們要順服 神」(雅各書4章6-7節)。

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,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以及www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com 。

省思 / 討論題目
你對那兩隻山羊在山區相遇的例子有什麼想法? 你在職場中是否曾碰過像那兩隻山羊所面對的可能衝突?若有,請描述那情況,以及你如何處理那情況。 當你聽到像「順服」或「服從」的字眼,你的心中會出現什麼想法?尊重別人而使自己卑微下來,對你而言是否困難?為什麼? 本文所引述的聖經原則中,哪一項對你最有意義?請解釋。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2節,15章33節,16章18節,18章12節,22章4節;哥林多前書16章15-16節;彼得前書2章18-20節

A SOLUTION BETTER THAN BUTTING HEADS
By Robert J. Tamasy

Last week”s “Monday Manna” looked at consequences of submitting to the insistent demands of our egos, doing whatever is necessary to ensure getting what we desire. Recently I came across an illustration from nature that demonstrates the virtues of very different behavior.

The story comes from Ulrich Zwingli, a leader of the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland in the early 1500s. He and Martin Luther, the catalyst for the Reformation, were locked in a serious dispute, and Zwingli was at a loss in trying to resolve the conflict. He found the solution one morning while gazing at the side of a mountain.

He observed two goats approaching each other on a narrow path on the mountainside, one going up and the other going down. Upon seeing one another they stopped, then lowered their heads. It appeared they were about to charge each other. However, instead of butting heads, the goat ascending the mountain lay down on the path. The descending goat was able to step over the other”s back, and the animals were able to proceed unimpeded.

If the goats had chosen to butt heads, one may have prevailed. But the result might also have been disastrous for both. So one bowed before the other, in effect humbling itself, which eventually enabled it to advance higher.

How often do we see instances in the business and professional world of two or more people fixed on their goals and objectives, determined to not let anything stand in their way? When they do encounter opposition, they insist on butting heads, battling to a bitter and sometimes bloody conclusion.

But consider the lesson Zwingli learned from the goats. One of them deferred briefly to the other, leading to a “win-win” outcome. Would not this approach have merit for resolving workplace conflicts? This principle finds ample support in the Bible. Here are some of the things it has to say:

Go lower to get higher. Being willing to defer to the interests of another should not be one-sided. Both benefit when they are willing to “submit” or be “subject” to one another. Just as a submarine goes under water, submitting or being subject to others means intentionally putting oneself under another. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).

Superiors and subordinates should yield to one another. The customary business model is for superiors to exert their authority over those that report to them, but the best leaders are ones having the interests of their employees at heart. “Slaves (employees), obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ…. And masters (superiors), treat your slaves (employees) in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven…” (Ephesians 6:5-9).

Work with an attitude of humility toward coworkers – and to God. Rather than demanding your desires, relating humbly toward others can win their good favor and support. “Be submissive to those who are older…clothe yourselves with humility toward one another” (1 Peter 5:5-6). “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God” (James 4:6-7).

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written 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.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
What do you think of the illustration of the two goats approaching each other on the mountainside? Have you ever had a circumstance in the workplace similar to the potential conflict the goats were facing? If so, describe the situation and how it was handled. When you hear termsj like “submit” or “be subject to others,” what thoughts come to your mind? Is it difficult to “submarine” yourself by deferring to others? Why or why not? Which of the biblical principles cited seem most meaningful for you? Explain your answer.NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 15:33, 16:18, 18:12, 22:4; 1 Corinthians 16:15-16; 1 Peter 2:18-20

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