经验
03月30日 478 次浏览

和外国老板相处,如何打破沉默?

 

你的外国老板可能认为你有点太胆小,也许你觉得你的外国老板有些吓人,而且一点都不关心你的生活。

试想一下,两个人乘坐同一部电梯——外国老板在想什么,中国员工在想什么、期待什么。

大多数人都有一个共同点,这刚好也是闲聊的黄金法则:人们喜欢聊他们自己。
 

foreign.boss



关于闲聊,人们有两种不同的看法。一些人认为闲聊完全就是浪费时间,为什么聊那些不重要的东西呢。就是为了聊天而聊天嘛。而另一方面,有人认为闲聊是一种尊重他人的表现,给别人机会聊聊自己,这会让他们感觉很好。

我们都会遇到这种场景。你和公司一位高层领导同坐一部电梯,你对他有点了解,但是他可能不怎么认识你。打破沉默的开始会有些尴尬。你可能会想,天呐,我到底该和他说什么?其实可以聊的内容比你想的要多哦。高层领导也是人啊!他们喜欢的东西和我们是一样的——比如说,和家人一起的时光、度假和美食,还可以聊聊他们自己。

和老板聊私人话题好像有点奇怪,但是,如果你的老板凑巧是个外国人,表现出你的兴趣和关心可能是一种相当不错的方式。
 

family


家庭 : 每个人都爱聊自己的家庭,尤其讨论他们孩子的时候。孩子是他们的骄傲和幸福所在。和老板聊聊家庭,会使TA一天都感到很愉快,这是个不错的方法。

问什么:
您家里人都好吗?
你的孩子怎么样?
孩子开学了吗?
孩子在过暑假吗?

不要问什么:
您有孩子吗?
您打算要孩子吗?(这个问题很私人,有时候人们想要孩子,但是因为种种原因要不上。所以最好在确定你老板有孩子的情况下再问关于家人的问题。)

你认为老板听到这个话题会这么想:
“这有些尴尬吧,毕竟家庭是很私人的话题……这个人为什么想要了解我的家庭?”

你的外国老板实际上是这么想的:
“我很爱我的孩子,他们是世界上最好的宝贝。真开心你能问我这个问题,我很高兴能聊聊孩子们。”
 

travel.plans


旅行计划: 人们喜欢讨论他们想要去或者正计划去旅行的地方。提起旅行目的地总是充满乐趣,不论你是将要出发,还是刚刚旅行回来,这都是很棒的聊天话题。中国有不少国家假日,人们通常会在那期间出行。所以人们很乐意聊旅行的话题,有谁不喜欢度假呢?

问什么:
假期您有什么旅行安排吗?
您假期准备去哪儿呀?
您假期过得怎么样?
这个假期您去哪儿玩了么?

不要问什么:
黄金周您去泰国么?(这就好像你在为TA做假设。没错,很多外国人会去泰国,但是请他们自己讲出来,而不是由你提出。)

你认为老板听到这个话题会这么想:
“这是在工作,我们为什么谈论度假的话题?这位同事不喜欢他的工作么?我去哪儿度假跟你们没关系吧!”

你的外国老板实际上是这么想的:
“要去旅行了,我超级激动。这会是一次很棒的旅行,能聊一会儿度假真不错,这是个闲聊的好话题。”
 

food


美食经历: 除了上面谈到的话题,还有食物能把我们联系在一起。每个人都得吃东西,这就是事实呀。尤其是在一些大城市,很多人都会去探访新开的餐馆,试吃新菜色。聊聊办公室附近新开的一家餐厅,是谈论食物话题最好的办法。或者你们可以问问老板,TA最近有没有去过什么好吃的餐厅。你最了解你的老板,TA可能并不是个吃货,但是如果TA热爱美食,一定会很高兴和你聊聊这个问题的,尤其当你们在去吃午饭的路上,或者刚吃午饭回来。

问什么:
您最喜欢哪类中国菜?
您吃过附近新开的X(菜式)餐厅了么?
您最近去过什么新开的餐厅么?

不要问什么:
您喜欢中国菜么?(这个问题外国人被问了一万遍了。我们喜欢中国菜!还有,用Yes/No回答的问题不太适合作为聊天的开场。最好能问问TA喜欢哪类中国菜,这样才有更多的内容可以聊。)

你认为老板听到这个话题会这么想:
“用这几分钟谈论食物毫无意义。我宁愿安静的呆着,思考下更重要的事,比如工作。”

你的外国老板实际上是这么想的:
“看得出这位同事在努力和我聊天,我很感激他们愿意更多地了解我。”
 

events


身边大事: 如果你不太了解你的老板,也不愿意聊一些太私人的事儿,那不妨谈谈最近发生了什么事。不用谈论什么国际新闻,聊聊社区新闻或是你所在的城市正在进行的活动。我们很多人在一些好玩的城市工作或是生活,即使是在小城市,也一定会有什么事情发生的。可能是要开演唱会,或是举办某类纪念活动。能聊一聊你身边发生的事,也是很不错的。

问什么:
您听说了么咱们这里要开X演唱会了?
您知道这周末会有一个美食美酒节么?

不要问什么:
您下班后干什么?(这个问题太直接了,就好像只是因为好奇才问的。相反,谈论身边的事可以引起工作相关的话题。)

你认为老板听到这个话题会这么想:
“这个年轻人是在告诉我,我应该做什么吗?我可是他们的上级。当然,我已经知道这件事了。我还有很多工作要做,没空搭理那些事儿!”

你的外国老板实际上是这么想的:
“嗯,也许我该考虑去参加下。他们真好,告诉我这么有趣的活动,要不是他们说起,我都不知道呢!”
 

 

weekend



周末计划:  周末计划和度假计划很相似。人们期待休息,一想到就会很开心。这和工作无关,但是谈论办公室之外的生活也是很不错的话题。好消息是,周末总是刚刚过去,或是马上到来。周一、周二,你可以和TA谈谈上个周末怎么过的,周四、周五,你可以和TA聊聊这个周末有没有什么有趣的安排。所以,如果刚好是周三在电梯里和老板相遇,那你只能多动点脑筋了!

问什么:
您周末过得怎么样?
您上个周末玩得开心么?
您这个周末有什么有趣的计划么?

不要问什么:
您周末干什么了?(这种问法太直接了,让人很难回答。很多人周末会安排不同的事情,有时候去旅行,有时候就待在家里。)

你认为老板听到这个话题会这么想:
“我怎么过周末是我自己的事儿。这家伙在关心什么?这真是没什么值得聊的话题。”

你的外国老板实际上是这么想的:
“周末计划是很常见的聊天话题。真开心,我们的中国员工能参与到聊天当中啦。”

也许对你来说,外国老板像外星人一样,但是别忘了TA也是个人,喜欢聊聊自己的事儿。TA也会非常感激你,努力创造话题和TA建立起情感的纽带。

 

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Stuck in an Elevator With Your Foreign Boss... Now What?

 

Your Western boss might think you're a little too timid. You probably feel like your Western boss is intimidating and doesn't care about your life.

laowai.boss


One thing that most people have in common also happens to be the golden rule of small talk: PEOPLE LOVE TO TALK ABOUT THEMSELVES.

There are two different opinions one can have of small talk. Some might think it is a complete waste of time. Why talk about things that aren't that important. Its talking just to talk. On the other hand, when someone is making small talk it can be seen as a sign of respect and a chance to talk about themselves, which in turn makes them feel good.

We have all been there. You are in an elevator with someone very senior in your company. You know a bit about them, they probably do not know much about you. The beginnings of the silence are awkward. You might think, what on earth do I have to say to them? Well, it turns out probably a lot more than you think. Superior bosses are people too! People who enjoy the same things as we do - time with family, vacations and good food to name a few, and talking about themselves.

It might seem a little strange to approach a personal topic with a boss, but if you happen to work for a foreigner, it can be a really nice way to show that you are interested in him or her and that you care.
 

family

1.Family. Everyone loves to talk about their family, especially when it is their own children. Children are people's pride and joy. This is a nice way to let your boss talk about something that brightens his or her day.

What to ask:
How is your family?
How are your Children?
Are your children back in school?
Are your children out of school for the summer?

What not to ask:
Do you have kids?
Will you have kids? (This is very personal. Sometimes people might want kids, but are not able to. So its best only to ask about family, if you know that your boss has one).

How you think your boss feels about this:
“Well this is awkward, my family is a very personal matter...why does this person want to know?”

How your Western boss actually feels:
“I love my kids, they are the greatest kids in the world, I am so glad I get to talk about them right now. This is so nice of the person to ask.”
 

travel


2.Travel Plans. People love to talk about where they might want to go or where they are planning to go. Its always fun to think about vacation destinations. Whether you are about to travel or have just come back, this is a great conversation starter. Luckily in China, there are a quite a few national holidays that people are generally making travel plans during. This is also something that people are always happy to talk about. Who doesn't love vacation?

What to Ask:
Do you have any plans for the holiday?
Where are you headed for the holidays?
How was your vacation?
Did you go anywhere for the holidays?

What not to Ask:
Are you going to Thailand for Golden week? (It feels like you are making an assumption. Sure, a lot of foreigners do go to Thailand, but let them tell you that.)

How you think your boss feels about this:
“This is work, why are we talking about vacation? Does this person not like their job? Where I go on vacation is not anyone's business at work!”

How your boss actually feels about this:
“I am so excited for my trip. Its going to be awesome. Its nice that I get to think about it for a second. This is a nice topic for small talk.”
 

food


3.Food experiences. Another thing that seems to unite us all is food. Everyone has to eat, that is just a fact. Especially in major cities, visiting new restaurants and trying new food is something many people do. The best way to bring up food is to talk about a new restaurant near the office. Or you can ask if he or she has tried any good restaurants recently. You know your boss best, he or she might not be such a foodie, but if you know this might be something they are interested in, its something fun to bring up, especially if you are on your way out to lunch or back from lunch.

What to ask:
What is your favorite type of Chinese food?
Have you tried the new X (type of food) spot nearby?
Have you tried any new restaurants recently?

What not to ask:
Do you like Chinese food? (This is something foreigners get asked all of the time. We like Chinese food! Also, yes or no questions are not the best conversation starters. Its better to ask what kind of Chinese food he or she likes because it leads to more conversation).

How you think your boss feels about this:
“This is a pointless way to spend a few minutes of conversation. I would rather just be quiet and think about more important things, like work.”

How your boss actually feels about this:
“Its so nice that this person is making an effort with me. I appreciate that they are trying to get to know me better.”

events


4.Events. If you do not know much about this person and afraid to talk about anything too personal, you could always bring up an event. This doesn't have to be something in international news, but could be more like community news or something going on in your city. Many of us work or live in cool cities, even if your city is small, there is bound to be something going on. There might be a concert going on or perhaps some sort of festival. Its always nice to offer up information about what is going on in your community.

What to ask:
Did you hear about X concert that is coming to town?
Have you heard about the food and wine festival this weekend?

What not to ask:
What do you do after work? (This question is too direct. It feels like you are asking a question, just to be curious. But instead, by bringing up an event it can lead into a conversation about work.

How you think your boss feels about this:
“Why is this junior person telling me what I should do. I am their superior. Of course I already know what is going on. And anyways I work too much, I don't have time to do that!”.

How your boss actually feels about this:
“Hm, maybe I should check out one of these. That's nice of them to offer up an interesting activity or event. I wouldn't have known about that otherwise!”.

weekends


5.Weekend Plans. Similar to vacation plans are weekend plans. These are usually happy thoughts that people are looking forward to. Of course it has nothing to do with work, but its nice to ask people about their lives outside of the office. The good news is, the weekend is something that always just happened, or it is about to happen. On Monday and Tuesday, you can ask someone how his or her weekend was. And on Thursday and Friday you can ask someone if they have anything fun planned for the weekend. So only if your stuck in an elevator on Wednesday, do you have to get a little more creative!

What to ask:
How was your weekend?
Did you do anything exciting this weekend?
Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

What not to ask:
What do you do on the weekends? (This feels really direct. It is also hard to answer. A lot of people do different things on the weekend. Sometimes people might travel, other times they might just hangout at home).

How you think your boss feels about this:
“My weekend is for myself. Why does this person care? This is not really a worthwhile topic of conversation.”

How your boss actually feels about this:
“This is a very normal topic of conversation. Its very nice to see our Chinese employees engaging in small talk.”

Your foreign boss probably seems like an alien. But remember he or she is a human, who likes to talk about themselves. He or she will also appreciate your effort in creating a human connection.

 

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