接受糾正以達完美

By: Robert J. Tamasy

「一個作家只會和他的編輯一樣好。」幾乎所有的好作家都了解這個公理,因為他們的寫作需要修改。不論是找出文法或拼字的錯誤、指出一個片語或句子不清楚、或挑戰作者再次思考寫作的前提,修改是追求與讀者有效聯結的重要步驟。

然而,糾正常常很不容易,那可能讓人失望、氣餒,甚至會使人覺得羞辱,例如你告訴一位作家說他以疼愛的心情,辛苦寫出來的奇妙文章無法被讀者喜愛。

修改的價值--有人認為是建設性的批評--不只限於作家。這原則對任何其他的職業也是真實且正確的。即使最有天份的員工--業務員、工匠、經理或高級主管--都需要學習,使技能更精進達到卓越。有一個外人,客觀的觀察者,能看出我們的瑕疵、限制,且建議我們可以怎麼改進,這會很有幫助。

遺憾的是,糾正不是總被歡迎,有時還會被厭惡與拒絕。這問題在於人的驕傲,不願意承擔與驕傲完全相反的態度--羞辱。拒絕考慮別人好意的糾正,其後果可能很嚴重。可能這就是為何舊約箴言第15章有許多經文談到這議題:

忽略別人的糾正是愚昧的。被糾正時可能很痛苦,但留意別人的糾正可能對我們有極大的益處。「愚妄人藐視父親的管教;領受責備的,得著見識」(箴言15章5節)。

不留意別人的糾正可能會有破壞性。被管教意味著被調整以朝向我們要走的路。不願接受糾正,可能讓我們走上錯誤的道路,而且可能是無法回頭的路。「捨棄正路的,必受嚴刑;恨惡責備的,必致死亡」(箴言15章10節)。「聽從生命責備的,必常在智慧人中。棄絕管教的,輕看自己的生命;聽從責備的,卻得智慧」(箴言15章31-32節)。

拒絕被糾正就是遠離智慧。一旦我們下定決心,就很難接受糾正,即使那對我們有好處。但對別人的意見甚至一點也不考慮,就是沒有智慧。「褻慢人不愛受責備;他也不就近智慧人」(箴言15章12節)。

考慮別人的糾正可以幫助我們澄清計畫和目標。評估你計畫和目標的方法之一是請你信賴的朋友和同事提供他們的意見和建議。加上他們的觀點,你就比較可能達到正確的結論。「不先商議,所謀無效;謀士眾多,所謀乃成」(箴言15章22節)。

需要謙卑才能接納糾正。生命是一個學習和了解的過程--需要謙卑才會承認我們不了解每件事。最大的謙卑是順服上帝,承認祂掌管我們的生命--即使那意味著要犧牲我們個人的欲望。「敬畏耶和華是智慧的訓誨;尊榮以前,必有謙卑」(箴言15章33節)。

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。他在新聞界工作超過38年。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:啟發人們將其潛能發揮到極至的10個原則」(The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential)。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
你認為自己很能接納別人的糾正嗎? 不論在工作或個人生活中,當有人告訴你可以如何做得更好,或責備你說錯話或做錯事,你一向如何回應? 哪一樣你做得比較好--糾正別人或被人糾正?請解釋。 本文所引述的箴言15章中,哪一節經文對你特別有意義?為什麼?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、14節,12章15節,13章10節,16章18節,19章20、27節,20章18節,22章4節,24章5-6節,27章17節

CORRECTION IN PURSUIT OF PERFECTION
By: Robert J. Tamasy

“A writer is only as good as his or her editor.” Virtually all good writers understand this truism – sometimes their writing requires corrective treatment. Whether it means finding grammatical or spelling errors, pointing out that a phrase or sentence is unclear, or challenging the writer to rethink the overall premise, correction is an important element in the quest to connect effectively with our audience.

Correction, however, often is not easy. It can be disappointing, disheartening, at times even humiliating, to be informed that one”s wondrous prose, laboriously and lovingly produced, has fallen short of its intent to enrapture the reader. So we are faced with two options – to seriously consider the editors” views and recommendations, or to ignore them, convinced that they simply fail to appreciate our literary genius.

The value of correction – some might refer to it as constructive criticism – is not confined to writers only. This principle holds true for any other workplace pursuit as well. Even the most talented worker – a salesperson, craftsman, manager or top executive – needs to learn and refine skills to excel. It helps to have an outsider, an objective observer, who is able to recognize our flaws and limitations, and then suggest how we might improve.

Unfortunately, correction is not always welcomed. Sometimes it is resented and rejected. At issue is one”s pride, an unwillingness to assume an attitude that is typically the very opposite of pride – humility. The consequences of refusing to at least consider well-intended correction from others can be serious. Perhaps that is why one small section of the Old Testament book of Proverbs, its 15th chapter, offers several passages on this topic:

To ignore correction is foolish. It is painful at times to be corrected, but it might be in our best interests to pay attention. “A fool despises his father”s instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent” (Proverbs 15:5).

Failure to heed correction can be devastating. To be disciplined means to be redirected in the way we were intended to go. Unwillingness to accept such correction can set us on the wrong course, perhaps one without return. “Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, and he who hates correction will die” (Proverbs 15:10). “The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding” (Proverbs 15:31-32).

Spurning correction results in turning away from wisdom. Once we have made up our minds, it can be hard to accept correction even when offered for our own good. But to reject it without even giving it fair consideration is usually unwise. “A scoffer does not love one who corrects him, nor will he go to the wise” (Proverbs 15:12).

To consider correction helps to clarify plans and goals. One way of evaluating your planning and goal-setting is to ask trusted friends and colleagues to provide their opinions and advice. By adding their views to the mix, you are more likely to reach the right conclusions. “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established” (Proverbs 15:22).

Properly receiving correction requires humility. Much of life is a process of learning and understanding – at times that involves the humility of admitting we do not know everything. The greatest act of humility is to submit to God, acknowledging His rule over our lives – even if it means sacrificing our personal desires. “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility” (Proverbs 15:33).

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 more than 38 years in professional journalism, he is the author of 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: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or go to his online blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
How good do you consider yourself to be in terms of receiving correction? What is your typical response whenever someone comes to tell you about how you could have done better in some area, whether at work or in your personal life, or to rebuke you for something you said or did – whether it was intentional or not? Which are you better at doing – trying to correct others in what they have done, or in being corrected yourself? Explain your answer. Do any of the passages cited from Proverbs 15 seem particularly significant for you? If so, which ones – and why? NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Proverbs 11:2,14, 12:15, 13:10, 16:18,19:20,27, 20:18, 22:4, 24:5-6, 27:17

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