Initiative

 

“The world bestows its big prizes both in money and honors for but one thing,” says Elbert Hubbard, “and that is initiative. And what is initiative? I’ll tell you: it is doing the right thing without being told.”

 

“在这个世界上,只有一样东东可以不仅带来丰厚的金钱,也带来荣誉,”Elbert Hubbard 说,“这个东东就是主动性。什么是主动性呢?我告诉你,就是在没有被指使的情况下作正确的事情。”

 

Several days ago, a piece of news from ABC news amused everyone: a two-year girl called 911 and saved her mom’s life by saying “Mummy owie” after her mom suddenly lost consciousness. The proud mother said in the aftermath that, several months ago, she taught her daughter how to dial the phone and the meaning of several numbers. Astoundingly, the two-year little girl remembered it and used it properly. That is really amazing. It is a perfect example of initiative.

 

几天前,ABC新闻报道了一件有趣的新闻:一个两岁的小女孩打急救电话救了她昏迷的妈妈。这位骄傲的妈妈事后说几个月前她曾经叫小女孩如何拨电话以及几个号码的意义,没想到小女孩竟然记住了,并且危急时刻利用了一下。真是让人惊讶。这也是原动性的一个很典型的例子。

 

Doubtlessly, the above two-year girl is largely born of initiative without much after-birth cultivation. But that does not mean initiative only belongs to the few geniuses. Actually, our ordinary persons take initiatives in many aspects of our lives, if not all. A student could solve a mathematics problem by a different method from the usual way from his teacher, and that is initiative thinking; an employee could propose to his boss his own idea of cost cutting or take the “extra” action to fulfill customer demands even which is beyond his routine job scope, and that is also initiative taking; even when you successfully organized a birthday party for your friend, you were taking initiative.  That is right, whenever you are doing the right thing without being told, you are taking initiative. And most of the times, the initiative comes from the “extra” thinking or action beyond the usually expected range.

 

毫无疑问,上述例子中的小女孩的原动性很大程度上是天生如此。但是那并不意味着主动性只是属于少数天才。实际上,我们普通人在日常生活的很多方面都在行使主动性。一个学生用了不同于老师常用的方法解决了一道数学题,那是主动型思维;一个员工向自己的老板建议降低成本的想法,或者为了满足客户而作了并非自己分内的事情,这是主动性思维所至;甚至当你成功地为朋友组织了一个生日聚会,那也是你的主动性的表现之一。对了,在你没有被指使而做任何正确的事情的时候,你都在发挥主动性。在大多数情况下,这种主动性体现在例常范围之外的一点点“多出”的行为或想法。

 

My former boss once told me that the most important trait of an employee is taking initiative, breaking the boundary of the daily routine job scope and doing the small “extra” for the sake of the whole company and also for the fun of the job. But this small “extra” is hardly spotted in our work. Most of us do jobs just following what we are told to do, and we are too lazy to do a little extra which again is because we do not have the stimulus to do the little extra. Once I bought bread at the shop Breadtalk. When I cashed out at the counter, I was totally surprised by the sales girl’s icy voice uttered from her mouth on her expressionless face while she was calculating the total amount:” thank you for shopping with Breadtalk…have a nice day.” Once she finished the mechanical procedure to entertain me, and I did not get enough time to take the bread away from the counter, she was immediately playing with her hand phone just as if the customer was transparent. I really feel sorry about it. Apparently, the company has a complete training procedure, and every employee was trained quite well before s/he physically starts working (we can see it from the fact that the sales girl could recite the whole paragraph.) but what is the purpose of the company’s culture without employee’s initiative? It sometimes really causes negative sense to the customers.  So what would companies do to stimulate employees’ initiative? That is a big task for companies. And we employees could wait and see what methods from the companies could motivate our initiative 😉 

 

我以前的老板曾对我说一个员工最大的优点就是主动性,打破日常工作的界限,多做那么“一点点”,为了公司的利益,也是为了让自己的工作更有趣。但是这“一点点”在我们的工作中并不常见。我们很多人是照章行事,我们不愿意多做因为我们也没有积极性去多做那么“一点点”。有一次我在面包物语买东东,结帐的时候,我被销售员一边算帐一边面无表情地发出冰冷的声音惊呆了:“多谢光临面包物语。。。。。。希望你有愉快的一天!”一旦作完这套应付我的程序,还没有等我把面包从柜台上拿下来,她就在玩她的手机了,就像顾客是透明的一样。真得很遗憾。很显然,这家公司有很完善的员工培训系统,每个员工上岗之前都接受了完整的训练(着从该销售员能够完整的背诵一大段话就看得出来)。但是,没有了员工的主动性,公司文化的意义何在呢?有时候对顾客只能起到负面的作用。那么公司应该怎么样激发雇员的积极性呢?这可真是公司们的一个大任务。我们这些雇员们就看看公司们到底可以用什么方法把我们的主观能动性激发起来吧。哈哈。

 

There are a lot of telemarketing calls these days. Most of the time, when I picked up the phone, the person at the other side would start to talk like reading a book of her/his product description and the voice is so neutral and so emotionless that I wondered whether s/he ever think I am a HUMAN or not? Very often, I would cut her/him off at the middle of her/his long lecture and say “I have no interest in it” before hang up the phone call. I am a little curious that s/he should take a proportion from her/his sales result, how come there is not any initiative showed in his/her work at all?  I think twice about this issue. It is really easy to say than do. I myself tried to make such kind of cold calls before and I knew the uneasiness: nervousness before call making, fear of rejection, and frustration of failure. It would take some time to overcome the negative feelings before s/he could take it easy to think of initiative taking.  However, how about trying to take initiative in the daily life so that make the daily life more interesting? It is very easy by changing the mindset. Every time we do something, give it a second thought to see whether there is any other method to make it better.  Sooner or later, it becomes natural to take initiative in our daily life.

 

最近有很多电话推销,每次我一拿起电话,电话那边就开始用很中性,很没有感情的声音念产品说明书。很多次我都在想他没有把我作为一个“人”来看呢?很多次我都在他的长篇大论中间打断他说我没有兴趣而挂断电话。我很好奇,这些人不是拿提成的吗怎么工作中也是没有任何主动性?我考虑再三,真地说比做容易。我自己以前也试图作过这种电话推销,我知道其中不易:打电话之前紧张万分,对被拒绝的恐惧,还有失败之后的沮丧。从克服这些负面情绪到采取主动性中间需要很久的时间来磨练。但是,在我们的日常生活中发挥主观能动性如何呢?这比较容易,就是观念的转变。每一次我们做什么事情的时候,就在稍微考虑一下又没有其他的方法能够做得很好。迟早的,主观能动性就会自然而然的体现在我们的日常生活中。

 

In summary, it is the companies’ big task to seek efficient ways to stimulate our employees’ initiative. For us ourselves, it is fun to change our mindset and take initiative in our daily life.

 

总之,公司的任务就是如何想法来调动俺们的主观能动性。我们呢,就转变观念在我们的日常生活中发挥主观能动性,从而使我们的生活变得更有趣。

Advertisements

One thought on “Initiative

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s