职场生存:语气委婉胜过千军万马

发布时间: 2015-12-10 13:38   来源: 北外网院
关键词: 职场生存 语气委婉 口语 雅思 北外网院

职场生存,能屈能伸。该当仁不让的时候毫不含糊,但求人办事时,语气上务必要讲究,用委婉的语气与人沟通,沁人心脾,实乃双赢之举。

1何谓“委婉”?试比较下面这两个句子——

例一:We have to cut costs. Meet me in your office at 2:00 so we can talk about how to do this.

例二:I think that cutting our costs might be a good idea. How about sitting down to talk about this? Would2:00 in your office work?

毋庸置疑,例二显得less forceful and more diplomatic,能够促进同事之间(包括上下级之间)的关系更加融洽。

本文的最终目标不是meaning 的表达,而是 tone 和 effect 层面的意识提升。职场英语的“话术”在于如何用委婉的语气表达强烈的情感与诉求。

好,下面我们就来逐步学习如何让语气变得委婉——

“委婉”第一步:体会情态动词 (Modal verbs),例如“might”, “would” 和 “must”等等在表达语气方面起着至关重要的作用。

试想,如果您的上司说:“You must come in tomorrow to finish the report.”您心里会怎么想?

如果同样一句话,上司这么说:“We really should get that report done before Monday. Would you be able to come in tomorrow and help get that finished?” 您心里是不是好受多了?

这个例子就是使用“should”和“would”来提出请求,比起“must”更能令人接受。

“委婉”第二步:情态动词的分类

按照语气由强到弱,以及使用的场合,情态动词可以分成如下三组——

1、表达命令、规则:“must,” “have to,” and “need to.”

2、表达建议、推荐:“might,” “may,” “can,” “should,” “could,” and “ought to.”

3、表达请求:“can,” “will,” “could,” and “would.”

“委婉”第三步:情态动词替换

举例场景一:同事就您刚刚做过的Presentation与您交流

原句: “You should have used fewer slides.”改后句:“You could have used fewer slides.”

使用“could”替代“should”,让改后句变得委婉,不那么opinionated.

上文提到,本文的最终目标不是 meaning 的表达,而是 tone 和 effect 层面的意识提升。职场英语的“话术”在于如何用委婉的语气表达强烈的情感与诉求。基于此,我们再看看场景二——

场景二:公司高级经理想要让新来的美工做事。

原句:“You have to finish those drawings today.”改后句一:“We really should have those drawings finished today.”改后句二:“Those drawings are important, so could you have them done by the end of the day please?”

这里使用表达请求的情态动词“could”替代了表达命令的“have to”。这种表达看似留有余地,但实际上不容有失,体现了当上司的“话术”。

5“霸道”的祈使句 (Imperative sentence),例如“close the window”,其实在英语中属于“霸道”语气的象征。试比较——

原句:“Give me the salt.”改后句:“Could you please pass the salt.”

常用的肯定是后者。

英语中最“霸气侧漏”、最令人不快的祈使句当属 “Give me.” 英语国家甚至有句儿歌来说明“Give me”到底有多么令人生厌——

“Gimme gimme never gets, don’t you know your manners yet?”

在家千日好出门时时难。在家里,即便语气不那么讲究,但父母亲朋能够包容。在职场,同事之间如果使用不委婉的语气,将直接导致如下三种情绪——

put off: if you are “put off” it means you don’t like something or someone because it bothers you; “Customers like the layout of the store, but they’re put off by the background music.”

disgruntled: to be disappointed, annoyed, or upset by something; “Several disgruntled employees came to the staff meeting with a list of complaints.”

downright offended: completely or very upset or angry by something someone has said or done; “David was downright offended when I suggested his skills were better suited to delivery than sales.”

所以啊,赶紧操练起来,恰当使用情态动词,让自己的语气变得委婉吧。

随堂练习

1、例一中那种强硬语气的作用是?

A It is never useful.

B It is sometimes necessary.

C It is common in everyday communication.

D It is polite in some languages.

2、为什么要做到语气委婉?

A It helps generate sales.

B It demonstrates good language skills.

C It can help us deal with difficult managers.

D It promotes good relationships.

3、下列哪些情态动词的语气属于“强硬”?

A have to

B might

C may

D must

E could

F ought to

G need to

H can

4、请别人倒垃圾,下列哪句话最为委婉?

A Take out the trash please.

B The trash is getting pretty smell. Would you mind taking it out?

C That trash really needs to be taken out. I think you should do it.

D Do you think you could take out the trash sometime?

5、“Clean your desk.”这样的祈使句符合下列哪种说法?

A They are generally too forceful in English.

B They are impolite in all languages.

C They are useful for rhyming.

D They are effective when leading a group.

 

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文章编辑取材自北外李晨的博客

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