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有益反馈的3个基本原则

作者:未知 来源:未知 2015-06-23 我要评论( )

Useful feedback: 3 essential rules

有益反馈的3个基本原则


For writers, no days drag on longer than days without feedback from your editor. You’ve sent him a 1, 200-word document that reflect some facet of your very self, and your editor will be returning it to you with comments and criticisms. He may suggest a different tone. He may suggest you amputate paragraphs that “aren’t doing anything.” Some editors rewrite your sentences for you. Very rarely will an editor remark that what you’ve done is just fine as is.

对写作的人来说,最难熬的时间莫过于收到编辑反馈的时候。你发去一篇真情实感的1200字短文,编辑会回复一些意见和不足。他可能会建议换种语气来写。或者删掉那些“没什么意义的”段落。某些编辑会给你改写。但很少有一位编辑会反馈说:你的作品“堪称完美”。

When I began writing professionally, that’s what I thought I wanted: an editor’s immediate approval. Creating something for public consumption made me feel naked, and reassurance that I was on the right track was welcome. But it didn’t take long for me to realize that feedback that risked hurting my feelings was more constructive in the long run. It could help me improve, for one. My friends could be relied upon to tell me my work was wonderful. A useful editor would tell me nice try, but try again. Or I see what you’re trying to do here, but it’s not coming across.

在开始职业写作时,我一心想要立即获得编辑的认可。我对创作公众消费文学毫无经验,因此很希望得到其他人的鼓励,让自己确信走在正确的轨道上。但很快我便意识到,那些看似伤感情的反馈,从长远来看反而更有建设意义。这些反馈可以帮我提高。如果我只想听好话,可以去找我的朋友。一位令我受益的编辑会跟我说:不错,但我们再试试这样写。或是:我明白你想表达什么,但这里没说清楚。

Thinking about how to give good feedback is important because so much can go wrong. Speak too harshly and people might quit their project. Deliver your opinions too gently, too obliquely, and they might not recognize that you’re actually delivering some trenchant criticism. As a young book editor myself, I made the mistake of rambling on to a writer about all the many little things I thought could be improved in his manuscript when the real truth was I thought it was ill-conceived from the ground up and beyond salvaging—only I was too big of a coward to say so. I stopped giving these lengthy but small-bore critiques that ignored the big picture when someone returned months later with a freshly revised manuscript, with all those little things addressed, sure now that nothing stood between him and a book contract. Unfortunately in this case I hadn’t even given him any advice that would help him improve his craft, not really. I’d only wasted months of his time. We both ended up feeling bad, though I’m sure he more than me.

仔细考虑一下如何才能提供好的反馈,这非常重要,因为处理不当可能适得其反。言辞过于苛刻,可能会令对方心灰意冷。而如果你过于委婉,他们可能不会意识到你实际上是在提出严肃批评。作为一名年轻的图书编辑,我曾犯下过这样的错误,我絮絮叨叨地与一位作者讨论我认为他的手稿中可以完善的许多小地方,但事实上,我认为他的作品通篇都是拙劣的构想,根本没有补救的可能——只是我如此胆小,不敢说出这样的意见。几个月后,这位作者发回了一篇精心修改的手稿,解决了我们之前谈到的所有小问题,既然他肯定能拿到一份图书合约,我便不再进行这种忽视整体、繁冗不堪的细微评论了。可惜的是,我没有给他提供任何可以帮助提高写作技能的建议。我只是浪费了他几个月的时间。我们最后都感觉很差,而且我确信他的感受一定比我更糟糕。

In the main, useful feedback is honest. It also:

从根本上来说,有用的反馈必须是坦诚的。此外还要:

•Is highly specific.

•高度具体。

•Contains advice that’s applicable beyond the project at hand. It carries wisdom you can apply toward future projects.

•包含超越当前项目的建议。其中包含的智慧可以给未来的项目带来帮助。

•Is encouraging. While critical, it is never so harsh that the creator decides to give up.

•鼓舞人心。尽管是批评意见,但不要太过尖刻,以至于使创作者决定放弃。

Yes, the feedback I gave when I was a novice book editor was filled with details, but it wasn’t meaningfully specific. Now, when I critique a manuscript, I isolate exactly which parts succeed, which don’t, and right there—in the margins, in tracked changes—offer alternative phrasing. This takes 10 times longer than just presenting a list of complaints. But delivering this level of specificity is great discipline for a feedback giver, because it means you can’t get away with lazily saying, “I like it!” or “Maybe try making it funnier.” Instead, you point out precisely the elements you like and red-flag the jokes that don’t land.

没错,作为一名初入行的图书编辑,我提供的反馈非常详细,但却毫无意义,不够具体。现在,我在评论手稿的时候,会在页边空白处和跟踪修订中标出好的部分和差的部分,提出可供选择的措辞。相比提出一系列抱怨,这种方式可能要多花十倍的时间。但提供这种程度的详细反馈,是对反馈者的严格约束,因为这意味着你不能偷懒,不能只是简单地说:“我喜欢!”或“试试看让它更有趣。”相反,你要准确指出自己喜欢的元素,提醒哪些玩笑的效果并不好。

If you can explain why the joke’s not landing, then you can fulfill the second criteria of useful feedback—i.e. you’re not just dispensing your opinions, but sharing applicable knowledge. If you can’t provide some reference, precedent, or bit of wisdom, you should consider passing on the job of giving feedback. In such instances it’s perfectly fine to say, “I’m not really qualified here. Can I help you in other ways?”

如果你能解释为什么一句玩笑话的效果不佳,你便达到了有用反馈的第二条标准——你不仅在发表自己的意见,也在分享适用的知识。如果你不能提供一些参考、先例或学识,你应该考虑放弃提供反馈。此时,你可以这样说:“我这方面的确经验不足。我可以通过其他方式提供帮助吗?”

Meeting the third criteria is trickiest, because being encouraging isn’t all smiley-faces and exclamation points.

达到第三条标准的难度最大,因为鼓舞人心不能全靠笑脸和溢美之词。

I have a frighteningly analytical friend who, thanks to a PhD in economics and years of storytelling in front of live audiences, thinks of useful feedback in terms of efficiency. He wants to know what advice will lead someone to the optimal result the fastest, with the least amount of fuss. And the answer he’s arrived at is, it depends—largely on timing.

我有一位分析力惊人的好友,他有经济学博士学位和多年现场演讲的经验。他从效率上对有用反馈进行了思考。他想知道,什么样的建议可以在最大程度减少争论的情况下,最快地使对方达到最理想的结果。最终,他得出的结论是,这很大程度上取决于时机。

Recommend a wholesale rewrite to someone who thinks they’re nearly finished, and there’s a significant chance they’ll be offended and ignore even good advice.

当一个人认为快要到了收笔的时候,如果建议他进行大范围的改写,对方肯定会生气,哪怕是好的建议也会被忽视。

Guidance given closer to the start of a project (when there’s still time and energy left to undertake big shifts in direction) is more likely to be heeded. But any feedback giver should consider timing on a larger scale. The useful adviser has to know—and if they don’t know, ask—how far along in their development (personal and professional) is this person I’m giving feedback to?

而在项目开始时给出的指导意见更有可能被接受,此时,对方仍有时间和精力大幅调整方向。但任何反馈者都应该从更高层面来考虑时机的问题。有效的反馈者必须要知道,如果不知道就要问清楚:被反馈者的个人情况如何?正处于怎样的职业发展阶段?

When someone has minimal experience, there’s less of a chance that a feedback recipient will take guidance poorly. Imagine you’re making strawberry shortcake with a four-year-old. The four-year-old will probably spill flour all over the counter, and you’ll be correcting and guiding, maybe even gently placing your hand over his, but chances are the kid won’t mind that much. He knows he’s less than capable of producing strawberry shortcake entirely on his own.

当一个经验极少时,很有可能虚心接受他人的指导。假如你在和一个四岁的孩子一起做草莓酥饼。小朋友会将面粉撒得到处都是,而你会纠正他的做法,甚至手把手地教他怎么去做,但他并不会介意这种指导。他很清楚,完全靠自己还无法制作出草莓酥饼。

重点词汇学习:

bruise [bru:z]
n. 擦伤;挫伤;青肿vt. 使受瘀伤;使受挫伤vi. 擦伤;受伤

ego ['i:ɡəu, 'eɡəu]
n. 自我;自负;自我意识

consumption [kən'sʌmpʃən]
n. 消费;消耗;肺痨

recipient [ri'sipiənt]
n. 容器,接受者;容纳者adj. 容易接受的,感受性强的

isolate ['aisəleit, -lit]
vt. 使隔离;使孤立;使绝缘n. [生物] 隔离种群vi. 隔离;孤立adj. 隔离的;孤立的

manuscript ['mænjuskript]
n. [图情] 手稿;原稿adj. 手写的

fuss [fʌs]
vi. 小题大作;忙乱;焦燥;焦急;无事自扰n. 大惊小怪,大惊小怪的人;小题大作;忙乱vt. 使烦恼,使烦忧

criticism ['kriti,sizəm]
n. 批评;考证;苛求

offend [ə'fend]
vt. 冒犯;使…不愉快vi. 违反;进攻;引起不舒服

creation [kri:'eiʃən]
n. 创造,创作;创作物,产物

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