禮貌地表達抱怨

Rick Boxx

一位我姑且叫她莎莉的婦人有一天來找我,她要求見我所服務的那個委員會的委員們。她要告訴他們,委員會的一位員工如何處理有關她利益的一個案件。在開會前,我看了一下莎莉的意見,我非常擔心我們會有情緒性的衝突,但事後證明我錯了。

莎莉向我們委員會提出抱怨時,用非常禮貌和謹慎的態度。她沒有對那負責的員工做出個人指控。她小心地選擇所用的言詞,並用理性和委婉的態度表達她的委屈。她特地把自己的焦點放在事件及其重要性上,而沒有做人身攻擊。

我欽佩地看到莎莉有時停下來使自己心平氣和,讓自己對事不對人,不落入惡意或敵意地評論那員工的試探。當她向委員們說話時,很明顯想要維持客氣、禮貌,而不是報復性地提高自己在我們眼中的可信度。她的態度使我們想要盡己所能去解決、改善問題,以使她滿意。

在工商專業界,這種情況很常見。有時抱怨另一人所做的工作是出於自私的動機,但許多時候我們只是對一件企劃案應如何執行,或目標應如何達到有不同的觀點。我們很容易用情緒回應,把我們的挫折和憤怒宣洩出來。然而在大多數的情況中,激動的言語被證明是反效果的。因為它們只是讓對方改採防衛姿態,且使焦點放在感覺而非事實。

我們最好留意聖經對如何面對這類情況的教導。例如,箴言21章23節說:「謹守口與舌的,就保守自己免受災難。」以下是一些值得我們思考的其他原則:

少說話。你說的話愈多,就愈可能說出將來會後悔的話。所以要小心你所說的話--以及你如何說它。「多言多語難免有過;禁止嘴唇是有智慧」(箴言10章19節)。

用話語去療傷而非傷害。我們所說的話可以像手術刀一樣精準,但我們的意念應該不是去傷人,而是去修正,甚至修補人際關係。「說話浮躁的,如刀刺人;智慧人的舌頭卻為醫人的良藥」(箴言12章18節)。

謹慎地使用言語。為達到我們的目的,要用最合宜的方式向我們的聽眾表達我們的想法。「你們的言語要常常帶著和氣,好像用鹽調和,就可知道該怎樣回答各人」(歌羅西書4章6節)。

下次你想要抱怨或批評時,不論你對那事情的感覺有多強烈,請考慮用禮貌和技巧。這樣,結果會比較可能讓你高興。

思想 / 討論題目
你是否曾參加過一個會議,在其中有人提出抱怨,結果卻造成更多混亂,而不是帶來修正的行動?那是如何造成的? 相較於上一題,你是否曾參加一個會議或討論,在其中有人像莎莉一樣表達出對某事的關切,但卻是用平靜、理性、有禮貌的態度?你認為這樣會帶出什麼不同的結果? 在聖經新約中,舌頭被形容「是火,在我們百體中,舌頭是個罪惡的世界」(雅各書3章6節)。你認為這形容正確嗎?為什麼? 你認為我們說出的話,尤其是出於強烈情緒,而且事先沒有仔細考慮過的話語,為何這麼有破壞性?預先防備可避免舌頭帶來的破壞力嗎?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言4章24節,10章32節,11章12節,12章14、17-18節,13章3節,15章1、4節,17章14、28節;雅各書3章3-12節

PRESENTING COMPLAINTS WITH CIVILITY

By: Rick Boxx

A woman whom I will call Sally approached me one day, asking to meet with a committee on which I serve to express her concerns about how an employee was handling a project of particular interest to her. After reviewing a summary of Sally’s concerns prior to the meeting, I was very concerned that we were about to invite a very emotional confrontation. It turned out that I was wrong.

The complaints that Sally brought to our committee were communicated with tremendous civility and discretion. Instead of directing a personal accusation toward the responsible employee, Sally carefully selected her words and presented her grievance in a rational, diplomatic manner. She purposefully kept her attention on the broader issue and its importance, rather than attacking the individual involved.

At times I watched with admiration as Sally paused to regain her composure and make certain she remained focused on the facts, rather than yielding to the temptation to offer comments that would be negative or hostile toward the employee. As she talked to the committee, Sally”s obvious desire to remain civil rather than vengeful elevated her credibility in our eyes. It also enhanced our desire to do whatever we could to correct the problem to Sally’s satisfaction.

Situations like this are common in the business and professional world. Sometimes complaints about how another person is doing a job are driven by selfish motives, but many times we merely have a differing perspective on how a project should be carried out or how goals should be pursued. It is extremely tempting to respond out of emotion, conveying our frustration or anger. In most cases, however, inflammatory statements prove counterproductive, since they shift people into a defensive posture and place the emphasis on feelings rather than facts.

We would be well-advised to heed what the Bible says about how to approach circumstances like these. For instance, Proverbs 21:23 teaches, "He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity." Here are some other principles worth considering:

Use words economically. The more you say, the more likely you are to utter something you will regret. So be cautious with what you say – and how you say it. “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).

Use words to heal, not to harm. The things we say can cut with the surgical precision of a scalpel, but our intent should not be to wound, but rather to bring about corrective steps and, if necessary, healing of relationships. “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18).

Use words with discernment. To accomplish our purpose, it is best to express our thoughts in the most appropriate way for our intended audience. “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6).

The next time you are prompted to complain or criticize, consider using civility and tact, regardless of how strongly you feel about the issue. The results will likely be more pleasing.

Copyright 2010, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Have you ever been a participant in a meeting where someone voiced a complaint that resulted in additional chaos rather than corrective action? How did this come about? By way of contrast, have you been part of a meeting or discussion in which someone like Sally expressed concerns, but managed to do so in a calm, rational, constructive manner? What difference, do you think, did this make in the eventual outcome? In the Bible”s New Testament, the tongue is described as “a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body” (James 3:6). In your view, is this description accurate? Why or why not? Why do you think that words we express, particularly when they come out of intense emotion and are not carefully considered before being uttered, can be so damaging? What precautions can be taken to avoid the destructive effects of the tongue? NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 4:24, 10:32, 11:12, 12:14,17-18, 13:3, 15:1,4, 17:14,28; James 3:3-12

Show More