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The Psychology Behind Effective Crisis Leadership

哈佛商業評論:有效危機領導背后的心理學

When I ask groups of managers what makes a good leader, I seldom have to wait long before someone says, “Vision!” and everyone nods. I have asked that question countless times for the past 20 years, to cohorts of senior executives, middle managers, and young students from many different sectors, industries, backgrounds, and countries. The answer is always the same: A vision inspires and moves people. Expansion, domination, freedom, equality, salvation — whatever it is, if a leader’s vision gives us direction and hope, we will follow. If you don’t have one, you can’t call yourself a leader.

當我向一群管理者詢問是什么造就了一個好的領導者時,我很少需要等很久,馬上就會有人說:“愿景! ”每個人都點頭稱是。
在過去的20年里,我無數次向來自不同行業、不同行業、不同背景、不同國家的高級管理人員、中層管理人員和年輕學生提出這個問題。
答案總是一樣的:能激勵人、打動人的愿景。
擴張、統治、自由、平等、救贖ーー不管是什么,只要領導者的愿景給我們指明方向和希望,我們就會跟隨,如果你沒有,你就不能稱自己為領導者。



What do I mean by holding? In psychology, the term has a specific meaning. It describes the way another person, often an authority figure, contains and interprets what’s happening in times of uncertainty. Containing refers to the ability to soothe distress and interpreting to the ability to help others make sense of a confusing predicament. Think of a CEO who, in a severe downturn, reassures employees that the company has the resources to weather the storm and most jobs will be protected, helps them interpret revenue data, and gives clear directions about what must be done to service existing clients and develop new business. That executive is holding: They think clearly, offer reassurance, orient people and help them stick together. That work is as important as inspiring others. In fact, it is a precondition for doing so.

我所說的支持(holding)是什么意思? 在心理學中,這個術語有一個特殊的含義。
它描述了一個人,通常是一個權威人物,在不確定的時候容納(containing)和解釋發生的事情的方式,容納指的是撫慰痛苦的能力,以及幫助他人理解困惑的能力。
想想一個 CEO,在嚴重的經濟衰退中,向員工保證公司有足夠的資源度過這場風暴,大多數工作崗位將得到保護,幫助他們解讀收入數據,并明確指出為現有客戶服務和發展新業務必須采取的措施。
這位高管的“支持”是:思維清晰,提供保證,引導員工并幫助他們團結在一起,這項工作和激勵他人一樣重要,事實上,這是先決條件。

Holding is a more obscure and seldom celebrated facet of leadership than vision, but no less important. And when crises hit, it becomes essential. In groups whose leaders can hold, mutual support abounds, work continues, and a new vision eventually emerges. When leaders cannot hold, and we can’t hold each other, anxiety, anger, and fragmentation ensue. In a study of BP during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, for example, my INSEAD colleague (and wife!) Jennifer Petriglieri observed both outcomes. She found that BP’s top talent, which the company needed to resolve and recover from the crisis, had different reactions to the crisis. Some lost faith in the company and in its leaders. Others doubled their effort and commitment. The difference between the two groups? The former was exposed to the top brass’ upbeat messages. The latter had bosses who drafted them to help clean up the mess. Despite the stress, working closely with one’s boss and colleagues on the response was more containing and informative. It reassured those who did it about the company’s integrity and long-term viability. Being held as we work through a crisis, the study concluded, is more useful than being told how bright the future is.

與“愿景”相比,領導者的“支持”是一個更加隱晦、很少受到贊揚的方面,但同樣重要。
當危機來襲時,它就變得至關重要。
在領導者能夠“支持”的群體中,相互支持的情況比比皆是,工作仍在繼續,最終會出現一個新的愿景。
當領導者無法“支持”,而我們又不能相互支持時,焦慮、憤怒和分裂就會接踵而至。
例如,在一項關于墨西哥灣漏油事件期間英國石油公司的研究中,我在歐洲工商管理學院的同事( 我家老婆大人! ) Jennifer Petriglieri 觀察了這兩種結果。

她發現,英國石油公司需要解決危機并從危機中恢復過來的頂級人才,對危機有不同的反應。
一些人對公司及其領導人失去了信心,其他人則加倍努力和投入。
兩組之間的區別是什么? 前者接觸到的是高層的上位者的振奮人心的信息,后者則由老板征召,幫助清理混亂局面,盡管壓力很大,但與老板和同事密切合作,得到的回應更具包容性和信息量,它向那些做這件事的人保證了公司的誠信和長期生存能力。
在我們度過危機的時候,被人“牽著鼻子走”,比被告知未來有多光明,更有用。

It was Donald Winnicott, a pioneering British psychoanalyst, who first conceptualized holding in this way. He observed that being held well was necessary for healthy growth in children. Parents who were available but not demanding, reassuring but not intrusive, responsive but not reactive, present even if not perfect, Winnicott observed, provided a “holding environment” that made children comfortable and curious. Holding made space for them to learn how to make sense of, and manage, their inner and social worlds—and to develop a robust sense of self. That is, a self with a healthy regard for its abilities and limitations, a self that can learn, play, work, face hardships, and sustain hope through it all.

英國精神分析學家唐納德溫尼科特(Donald Winnicott)首次以這種方式將把“支持”概念化。
他觀察到,被良好的擁抱是兒童健康成長的必要條件,溫尼考特觀察到,父母如果能提供一個 "擁抱環境",讓孩子們感到舒適和好奇,擁抱為他們提供了一個空間,讓他們學習如何理解和管理自己的內心世界和社會世界——并發展出強大的自我意識。
也就是說,一個對自己的能力和局限性有一個健康的自我(判斷),一個能夠學習、游戲、工作、面對困難,并在這一切中保持希望的自我。

Caretakers who held well, Winnicott noted, did not shelter children from distress and turns of fate. But they buffered children enough that they could process distress, and helped them find words to name their experiences, and ways to manage it. “Are you angry, love? Is that why you kicked? Come here. How about we tell your brother to leave your bear alone, instead.”

溫尼科特指出,好好照顧孩子的人并沒有保護孩子免受痛苦和命運的轉折,但他們為孩子們提供了足夠的緩沖,讓他們能夠處理苦惱,并幫助他們找到話語來為自己的經歷辨析,找到處理苦惱的方法。
" 親愛的,你生氣了嗎?是不是因為這個原因生氣了?來,過來,不如我們告訴你哥哥,讓他不要碰你的小熊,怎么樣?"



Children are not the only ones who need holding to survive and grow. Adults do too, throughout their lives. To face difficult circumstances, master new conditions, and develop in the process, we need holding from leaders and organizations. And we need to hold each other.

孩子并不是唯一需要“支持”才能生存和成長的人,成年人也是如此,并貫穿他們的一生,面對困境,掌握新情況,在發展的過程中,我們需要領導和組織的支持,我們需要擁抱彼此。

When we expand the definition of holding beyond child development, however, it becomes clear that there are different kinds of holding. In his later works, Winnicott hinted that the immediate, intimate holding that he spent most of his work describing works best when it occurs in a broader context of a society that is itself secure and free enough to render interpersonal holding less necessary. That was one of the functions of a democratic society, Winnicott argued: making it less indispensable for members to rely on their next of kin.

然而,當我們把“支持”的定義擴展到兒童發展之外時,我們就會清楚地看到,“支持”的種類是不同的。
在他后期的作品中,溫尼科特暗示,他的大部分作品中所描述的直接的、親密的把持在一個社會的大環境中發生時,效果最好,而這種把持本身是安全和自由的,足以使人與人之間的把持變得不那么必要,溫尼科特認為,這正是一個民主社會的職能之一:減少成員依賴近親的必要性。

In my own research I have drawn a distinction between interpersonal holding and this broader institutional holding. Ideally, good leaders provide both, in a crisis and beyond. This is how.

在我自己的研究中,我把人際關系的“支持”和這種更廣泛的制度性的“支持”區分開來,理想情況下,好的領導者在危機中和危機后都能提供這兩者。
這樣做的方式是:

Leaders provide institutional holding by strengthening the structure and culture of an organization or group. They do it, for example, when they put in place policies and procedures that reassure people about their job security or how fairly the organization is treating them. They do it when they promote dialogue that lets diverse people participate in decisions and in adapting to new challenges together, rather than encouraging polarized factions. For leaders in executive positions, this is the most impactful way of holding people in a crisis. Failing to provide it makes expressions of sympathy and understanding ring hollow. Providing institutional holding, conversely, will often make people forgive even personally dislikable leaders their remoteness.

領導者通過加強一個組織或團體的結構和文化來提供制度上的支持。
例如,當他們制定政策和程序,讓人們放心他們的工作保障或組織如何公平對待他們時,他們就會這樣做,它們促進對話,讓不同的人共同參與決策和適應新的挑戰,而不是鼓勵兩極分化的派別,就是這樣做的。
對于擔任高管職位的領導者來說,這是在危機中挽留員工最有效的方法,如果不能提供這些,同情和理解的表達就顯得空洞無物,相反,提供制度上的支持,往往會讓人們原諒那些甚至是不討人喜歡的領導者的疏遠。

To provide institutional holding, tell your people what will happen to their salaries, health insurance, and working conditions. What will change about how they do their work? What are the key priorities now? Who needs to do what? You might not be able to make predictions, but you can still offer informed interpretations, that is, why certain measures are sensible and needed instead of others. Dispel rumors. Encourage and protect everyone’s participation even more than you usually do. Do these things before you recommend the usual regular breaks, meditation, or exercise — otherwise you will just be neglecting your duty of care.

要提供制度上的“支持”,告訴你的人,他們的工資、醫療保險和工作條件會有什么變化,他們的工作方式會有什么變化?現在的重點工作是什么?哪些人需要做什么?
你可能無法做出預測,但你仍然可以提供知情的解釋,也就是說,為什么某些措施是合理的、需要的,而不是其他措施,祛除謠言,鼓勵和保護每個人的參與,甚至比你平時做的更多。
在你推薦平時的正常休息、冥想或鍛煉之前,先做這些事情——否則,你只是忽略了你的照顧義務。

Once you have provided institutional holds, turn your attention to interpersonal holding, offering it to others and modeling it for them. To do this well you must let yourself be in the present.

一旦你提供了制度性的“支持”,就把注意力轉到人際間的“支持”上,把它提供給別人,并為他們做出榜樣。

Your impulse may be to focus on the future but that will be little more than escapism if you cannot witness and understand people’s immediate experience and concerns. (Even if you can’t resolve them!). You need to muster a lingering, attentive availability that lets others “go on being,” as Winnicott put it. This is more than just being around and supportive when needed; it is a mixture of permission (to feel whatever it is that we are feeling without being shamed or overwhelmed) and curiosity (to consider different ways to understand our circumstances and, eventually, to imagine our future). Remember, as Winnicott described it, the core of holding is acknowledging distress and difficulty without giving in to powerlessness.

要做好這一點,你必須讓自己置身于當下,你的沖動可能是把注意力放在未來,但如果你不能見證和理解人們的即時體驗和關注,那將是一種逃避主義。(即使你無法解決它們?。?br /> 你需要有一種持久的、貼心的可用性,讓別人 "繼續存在",正如溫尼科特所說的那樣,這不僅僅是在需要的時候陪伴和支持,它是一種許可(感受我們所感受到的一切,而不會感到羞愧或不知所措)和好奇心(考慮以不同的方式理解我們的處境,并最終想象我們的未來)的混合物。
請記住,正如溫尼科特所描述的那樣,“支持”的核心是承認苦惱和困難,而不向無力感屈服。



When I ask managers to reflect a bit more on the leaders whose visions they find most compelling and enduring, they usually realize that none of those leaders started from a vision or stopped there. Instead the leader started with a sincere concern for a group of people, and as they held those people and their concerns, a vision emerged. They then held people through the change it took to realize that vision, together. Their vision may be how we remember leaders because it can hold us captive. But it is their hold that truly sets us free.

當我要求管理者對那些他們認為最具吸引力和持久性的領導者進行更多的思考時,他們通常意識到這些領導者沒有一個是從愿景開始或者停止的,相反,領導人以對一群人真誠的關心開始,當他們擁抱這些人和他們的關心時,一個愿景出現了,然后,他們一起帶領人們通過改變來實現這個愿景,他們的愿景可能是我們記住領導人的方式,因為它能讓我們成為俘虜,但真正讓我們自由的是他們的“支持”。