《非暴力沟通》Part II:非暴力沟通方式

如何进行非暴力沟通?

区分观察和评论

非暴力沟通的起点区分观察和评论。这并不是要求我们保持绝对的客观而不作出任何评论,而是强调区分观察和评论的重要性。沟通失效一个常见的原因是我们常常直接将观察和评论混为一谈,评价,批评或者指责对方的行为,使沟通的对象产生抵触情绪,从而不愿意作出友善的回应。另一方面,当我们带着强烈的预设去沟通,在没有了解事实之前就进行判断,无异于带着有色眼镜去观察,则我们自己所观察到的事实也会产生偏差,给后续的沟通带来更大的误解。区分观察和评论的目的就在于,在沟通之初带着客观的心态观察事实。

体会和表达感受

非暴力沟通的下一步是体会和表达感受。对于大多数文化而言,男生表达自己的感受被认为是敏感脆弱的表现。但我发现,表达感受无论在亲密关系中还是在职业当中都是非常有必要的。个人化的感受和表达是我们与他人建立情感连接的关键步骤。

了解感受的根源

沟通中产生矛盾的直接原因往往是我们将浅层次的情绪表达出来使得双方形成对立。非暴力沟通强调:感受的根源在于我们自身。我们的需要和期待,以及对他人言行的看法导致了我们的感受。在沟通中应当关注产生情绪的根源,也即是我们的什么感受没有得到满足。

更具体说,沟通中的矛盾的起点一般是因为听到了不中听的话。这个时候我们一般有四种选择:认为自己犯了错误而心怀愧疚,为了维护被伤害的自尊和情感而通过指责对方的方式来回击对方,认识到自己感情上受到伤害是因为我们看中对方的信任和接纳或者收到了误解,或者是第四种方式,用心体会对方的感受从而明白他的需求。与之前所说的区分观察和评论类似,听到不中听的话要先将对方的情绪放到以便,而努力去思考其背后所想要表达的含义,或者包含的未满足的需求,并且以最大的善意去作出理解和回应。

另一些时候我们也可能说一下不中听的话,比如批评对方,但是批评往往暗含着期待。非暴力沟通不鼓励批评,而鼓励表达需求,也就是期待。在多数的沟通当中,矛盾和冲突是因为双方的需求没有得到很好的满足。鼓励沟通双方表达感受,有助于我们了解到双方的需要,从而可能找到满足双方需求的办法。

然而,社会化的过程里,不同的角色都被赋予了不同的期待,表达个人感受是不被鼓励的。但是直接说出需求,获得积极回应的可能性会更大。我们在影视剧或者戏剧里看到过许多勇于跳出自己社会化职责的束缚、努力表达自己观点的角色,也看到过很多常年牺牲和压抑自己的个人感受,而最终爆发或者崩溃的角色。表达自己的个人需求是获得理解的起点。

作者认为,一般来说,一个人的感情成长会经历三个阶段。从最初想要努力取悦他人、达成他人的期望,到因为不堪重负或者不平衡的付出想要逃避这种负担,到最后认识到个人对他人的需求并不负有责任,但是愿意从爱他人的角度出发进行帮助。我认为这个观点具有相当的表达力。我在许多的关系都看到过这样的成长过程。比如孩子和父母的关系,许多孩子觉得自己有必要为了使父母高兴从而做出违背自己意愿的事情,他们有时候在重大压力之下意识到自己的感受从未被尊重而与父母的感情出现裂痕。还要许多亲密关系也是如此,从一开始努力迎合对方想要使对方高兴,到后来因为觉得憋屈而恼怒,进而逐渐变得态度僵硬起来。

真正的个人成长来自于对于自己的感受和需求的认识和尊重。我们会认识到他人的言行也许和我们的感受有关,但并不是我们感受的起因。感受源自于我们自身的需求,而他人并不对我们的需求负有责任。反过来说,我们也会逐渐意识到,我们对他人的感受也并不真正负责,了解他人感受背后的需求比应对他人的感受更加重要,真诚地对待他人比委屈求全更为可贵。

请求帮助

在了解了我们感受和需求之后,下一个要素是提出需求。提出需求的过程中我们需要注意:首先,要清楚地告诉对方,我们希望他们做什么,如果我们请求他人不要做什么,对方也许会感到困惑。同时,请求语言力求具体。抽象的语言不仅会使得对方感到迷惑,还会使我们无法深入了解自己。

我的一个观察是,很多时候我们对沟通感到沮丧是因为我们自己也不清楚自己想要的是什么。了解自己是一个苦难的过程,我们在成长过程中接受了许多抽闲的框架来帮助我们了解自身,但这些抽闲的框架有时候无助于我们了解自身。有时候我们自己也不清楚我们对他人的期待是什么。比如我们也许认为我们想从亲密关系中获得支持,但什么样才算是支持呢?告诉对方,自己在烦恼的时候想要被认真倾听比仅仅表达想要得到支持要可能成功的多。

当然,在沟通请求的时候需要同时阐述自己作出这样请求的感受和需要。在必要的时候也可以请对方提供反馈。在确认对方已经明白我们的请求之后,我们通常会关心对方的反应,包括对方此时的感受或者想法,以及对方能否接受我们的请求。在想要了解对方的反应时,我们要能意识到我们想要了解的是哪方面的内容,并提出明确的请求。

《经济学的思维方式》价格的作用

《经济学的思维》英文名是:Basic Economic: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy。本书使用清晰易懂的语言对经济学概念和现象加以解析。这一些列文章重在分析通过阅读本书所获得的对经济学的更新的或更深的理解。

价格的作用 这一章主要讨论价格对于经济资源分配的决定性作用。为了说明这一点,作者对比了计划经济和市场经济的做法。

关于计划经济体失败的原因,直接的解释是对经济生产进行全面计划是无法完成的事情,在过程中一定会有许多的决策失效。但无论多么困难,苏联和中国确实努力实践了很多年并且取得了经济发展的进步。问题在于:为什么计划经济的发展速度比不过市场经济呢?边际替代或者说机会成本的概念很大程度上解释了这个问题。从整个社会的角度来看,任何东西的成本都是将它运用在其他用途上的价值,计划经济中大量的资源错配带来的巨大的机会成本的损失,很大程度上造成了其发展速度较低的问题。

在计划经济盛行的年代,中国和苏联在声场过程中所投入的资源,包括人力和物力不可谓不少,但最终无论生产的总量还是技术更新的速度都没有市场经济块。很大一部分原因在于这些资源没有得到有效的利用,这里的有效利用并不是生产效率的差异,而是如何配置生产资源从而获得最大化生产的问题。计划经济正式试图使用集中决策的方式来绝地资源配置问题。但其各个种种环节上的失效带来了巨大的错配,从而造成了生产成本的浪费。

市场经济依靠价格信号作用有效解决了稀缺资源的分配问题。如果所有产品的生产流程都是相互独立的,稀缺资源的分配就成了究竟由谁来生产这个产品的问题。但在现实之中,产品的生产是包含共同依赖的。从原材料,半成品,一直到基础设施,每一项共同依赖都会形成资源配置的问题,从而形成资源的竞争关系。

价格之所以能够起到资源分配的作用在于:每一个对资源的共同依赖者都会衡量资源的价格与自己的生产成本的关系。生产者会灵活调整自己的策略来应对价格和价格的变化:比如使用替代性的原材料,调整生产规模等等。成本约束和竞争关系就会导致资源分配到了最优价值的用途上去。对于没有得到资源的生产者而言是损失,但是对于社会整体而言则是获益。资源分配的方式会对对社会整体效益产生影响也是这本书带来的新视点。

作者在本章中还澄清了关于绝对价值的误区。就一般的理解而言,绝对价值似乎是存在的,无论如何汽车可以用来运输这个事实是无法否定的,加入不存在绝对价值是否意味着认为汽车的价值是零也是合理的呢?这似乎与我们的直觉相矛盾。而当我们以这种思维看待市场经济行为的时候就会出现各种问题。比如,如果我们认为火车票有固有的价值就会认为黄牛票的贩卖者所得利益是不合理的。但是一旦我们意识到并不存在绝对价值,所有的价格都是通过供求双方来决定的、是主观事实,这些行为就具有了合理性。而论证不存在客观的绝对价值的理由就是:如果有绝对价值,所有交易必须在绝对价值的价格上成交才能保证双方都没有损失,交易才有可能达成,但这样一来也就不存在利润而言,市场的动力也就不存在了。

《非暴力沟通》Part I 沟通中的暴力

物理暴力更容易被感知。比如各种暴力犯罪,战争,乃至家庭暴力等等。因为物理性的暴力往往留下可见的创伤或者痕迹,比如炸塌的建筑物,飞溅的弹壳,渗透血液的衣服,布满伤痕的脸等等。但是在看不见的精神领域,暴力的存在同样广泛。这本《非暴力沟通》的全部目的是要倡导非暴力的沟通形式,从爱的角度而非暴力的角度出发,从而获得更好的沟通效果以建立更有意义的联结。

作者在书中没有明确给出暴力的定义,但通读全书之后不难理解,书名中的暴力是指沟通过程中将负面的情绪投射到沟通对象身上的行为。比如焦虑、紧张、愤怒、沮丧、悲伤、痛苦等,沟通者通过通过语言或者非语言的方式将负面的情绪表达出来,进而对对方的精神产生压力甚至伤害。

最常见的是暴力对他人进行道德评判。道德评判就是将行为或者想法放在道德准则之下加以判断好坏。我们经常有意无意的对他人进行道德评判,这种评判有时候是为了通过贬损对方行为的道德价值来获得心理上的满足,释放或者补偿,亦或者通过明确表明对方的行为的地道的来给对方压力,以期改变对方的行为。但是非常不幸的是,这种做法通常除了暂时泄愤,很难达到想要的效果。这种做法通常会招来对方的敌意,即使对方做出让步也不是心甘情愿的,而是出于恐惧或者内疚的行动,最终很可能心怀怨恨。

另一种常见的沟通暴力是进行比较。比较也是进行批判的一种形式。最常见的恐怕是父母将孩子与其他更加优秀的所谓别人家的孩子进行比较。这种比较的根源乃是父母对子女更高的期望,但比较非但常常不能鼓舞人,反而会让人更加沮丧并加深隔膜。

第三种是回避责任。常见的例子是认为自己别无选择。比如认为自己的选择是因为不得不遵从命令等等。回避责任一般是沟通对象想要逃避指责。但回避责任也即意味着自我的退化,等于承认我们不具有完全的行动的自由。

强人所难是第四种常见的沟通暴力。当沟通中一方对另一方有更高权力的时候,强人所难更容易发生。按照组织行为学的定义,权力既是使对方按照自己的意愿行事的能力。权力的运用当然具有多种形式,但是使用强制力是其中常见的一种。权力的所有者一般通过威胁或者暗示不服从的后果的方式行使强制权力。尤其当缺少有效的监督制约手段,或者被强制的人缺少反抗的手段的时候。除了权力,通过社会压力来迫使对方服从也是一种常见的暴力。比如通过强调社会习俗,通过强调群体一致的必要性等方式来给对方提供行为上的压力。

沟通中的暴力,或者用作者的话说,异化的沟通是如此广泛的存在,我们有必要从根本上审视其存在的基础。作者在书中将沟通中的暴力可以归结为性恶论,认为我们长期以来强调人性本恶以及通过教育控制天性,导致了我们对自己的感受和需要心存疑虑,以至于不愿体会内心的世界,而选择以异化的方式沟通。我认为这种解释阐释了事情的一方面,但另一方面,也来自于我们自我中心的傲慢造成的对他人情感和需求的忽略。当我们不认为对方是与自己一样怀有理性,可以达成理解,可以被说服的对象的时候,我们就会倾向于使用暴力的方式进行沟通。异化的沟通方式更加深了人与人之间的隔阂。而缺少情感联系的人被平等对待的机会和沟通成功的机会更少,于是沟通者更加依赖暴力沟通的恶性循环。

Release It: Stability Antipatterns

What is antipattern?

Stability antipatterns are systematic patterns of failure about service stability.

Why study antipatterns?

Software rarely crashes today. Each of the antipatterns will create, accelerate, or multiply cracks in the system. Learning the antipatterns helps us avoid apply them in our system and software design.

Pattern 1: Integration Point

Integration point refers to the point where a system integrates with a remote system, for example, a remote service, or a Database service. Integration points are the number-one killer of systems, but it is not an option to build a system without integration point. The key is to remember any integration point you introduced can cause a failure on the system. Circuit breaker pattern is a good strategy to handle the integration point: fails the request fast when the circuit break happens, which is often triggered when enough failure is seen. The fast failure protect the system from continuing to hammer the dependent integration system or from holding the critical system resource in integrating with the failed remote system.

Pattern 2: Chain Reaction

A chain reaction occurs when there is some defect in an application—usually a resource leak or a load-related crash. A chain reaction happens because the death of one server makes the others pick up the slack. Most of the time, a chain reaction happens when your application has a memory leak. Partitioning servers, with Bulkheads, can prevent Chain Reactions from taking out the entire service. Use Circuit Breaker also helps.

Pattern 3: Cascading Failures

A cascading failure occurs when cracks jump from one system or layer to another, usually because of insufficiently paranoid integration points. A cascading failure can also happen after a chain reaction in a lower layer. A cascading failure often results from a resource pool, such as a connection pool, that gets exhausted when none of its calls return. The threads that get the connections block forever; all other threads get blocked waiting for connections. Safe resource pools always limit the time a thread can wait to check out the source. A cascading failure happens after something else has already gone wrong. Circuit Breaker protects your system by avoiding calls out to the troubled integration point. Using Timeouts ensures that you can come back from a call out to the troubled one.

Pattern 4: Users

Users in the real world do things that you won’t predict If there’s a weak spot in your application, they’ll find it through sheer numbers. Test scripts are useful for functional testing but too predictable for stability testing. You should have a special load test to validate the stability of your service. Become intimate with your network design, it should help avert attacks.

Pattern 5: Blocked Threads

The blocked threads antipattern is the proximate cause of almost all failure. And it usually happens when you check resources out of a connection pool, deal with caches or object registries or make calls to external systems. However, it is very difficult to find hanging threads during development due to the essential complexity on concurrent programming and testing. You should be careful when you introduce the synchronized keyword to your code. That means one thread is executing the code, other threads will be blocked. When you have to design the concurrency programming, you should try to use proven primitives and you should defend the blocking thread with timeout settings.

You should also be careful with the third-party libraries, they often come with some resource pooling that is built on the multithreading. Your first problem with these libraries is determining exactly how they behave. If the library breaks easily, you need to protect your request-handling threads. If the library allows you to set timeouts, use them.

Pattern 6: Attack Of Self-Denial

In the retail or similar website, the special offer could cause an attack of self-denial. In such cases, protect the shared resource would be critical.

Pattern 7: Scaling Effects

The shared resource can be a bottleneck when we try to scale the service. In most of the cases, the shared resource can only be used exclusively. When the shared resource saturates, you get a connection backlog. A shared-nothing architecture can solve this problem largely: each request is processed by one node, and the node does not have shared memory or storage. It is relatively hard to achieve the sharing nothing architecture, however, many approaches can be taken in order to reduce the dependency on the shared resource, for examples partition the database table.

Pattern 8: Unbalanced Capacities

Production systems are deployed to some relatively fixed set of resources. The unbalanced capacities problem rarely observed during QA as inmost QA phase the system is scaled down to two servers. How do you test if your system is under the unbalanced capacities? You could use the capacity modeling to make sure at least you are on the ballpark. Then, test your system with excessive workload.

Pattern 9: Slow Response

A slow response is worse than refusing a connection or returning an error. The fast failure allows the caller to finish processing the trasaction quickly. The slow response from the lower layers can gradually propagate to the upper layer and cause a cascaded failure. Some common seen slow response root cause include the contention of DB connection, the memory leaks, and the inefficient low-level protocols, etc.

Pattern 10: SLA Inversion

A service-level agreement (SLA) is a contractual agreement about how well the organization must deliver its services. However, when building a software system, the best you can possibly do is the SLA of the worst of your service providers. And SLA inversion means a system that must meet a high-availability SLA depends on systems of lower availability. To handle the SLA inversion, on the one hand, you can decouple from the lower availability system or handle the degradation gracefully. You need to make sure your system can continue to operate without the remote system. On the other hand, when you craft your SLAs, you should focus on particular functions and features. For features that require a remote dependency, you can only achieve the best SLAs the remote system offers. Pattern 11: Unbounded Result Sets A common seen DB query pattern is that the application sends a query to the DB and run a for loop to traversal all the results without realizing that the result size can be way lager than the server could handle. This pattern is hard to detect during the development phase as the testing data set is often very small, sometimes not even right after ramped to production as until the data set grows to be too big to handle. One solution is to use the LIMIT keyword to limit the result size sent back from DB. For large query set, it is worthy of introducing the pagination on the API and on the database level.

Organization Behavior: Motivation Theory

Organization Behavior is the study of individuals and groups in organizations.

This blog introduce the basic concepts of the Motivation Theory.

What Is Motivation?

Motivation is the desire to act and move toward a goal. In the workplace: motivation refers to forces within an individual that account of the level, direction, and persistence of effort expended at work.

  • Direction refers to an individuals’s choice when presented with a number of possible alternatives
  • Level refers to the amount of effort a person puts forth.
  • Persistence refers to the length of time a person sticks with a given action.

Why Managers Care About Motivation?

One question that all managers think about the most is: How can I motivate my employee?

Why managers care so much about employee’s motivation? Because Managers’s success depends on the success of his subordinates. And the employee’s motivation level determines the quantity or quality of their work or service.

Can I Motivate My Employee?

You can’t directly change people’s motivation, just like you can’t control people’s mind. But you can build a better culture and environment to influence people’s motivation. Motivation is a result of your managerial work rather than an approach. As a manager, you should focus on understanding the factors that influences your employee’s motivation, on identifying the motivation structure for each individual employee, and continue to build a better environment and motivation plan for each individual employee.

Three Type of Motivation Theories

So, what motivates people in the workplace and how to change their motivation?

In general there are three types of motivation theories, they try to answer the question from three different perspective:

  • Reinforcement theory emphasizes the linkage between individual behavior and some specific outcomes to show how managers can alter the direction, level, or persistence of individual actions.
  • Content theory focus primarily on individual needs. It suggests that motivation comes from the individual’s attempt to satisfy needs.
  • Process theory focus on thought or cognitive processes that take place within the minds of people and influence their behavior.

Reinforcement Theory

Managers often seen themselves as coaches: to teach and assist the employee to achieve a better results. The coaching process often means the manager need to encourage certain behavior and discourage other behaviors. How to change people’s behavior? In the reinforcement theory, it is about the stimuli and the outcome.

Reinforcement is largely based on the theory of the classic and operant conditioning. The classic conditioning is focus on the stimuli that influence behavior and tries to link the stimuli that indirectly influence the behavior with the behavior directly.

In the classic experiment conducted by Pavlov, he “taught” dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell by ringing the bell when feeding the dogs. The trick is to associate one neutral potential stimulus(ring the bell) with another stimulus(the meat) that already affects behavior. However, the classic conditioning is not quite practical in the workplace, it is hard to find out the stimuli in most cases, not to mention to associate them with the behavior.

However, it is often easier to associate the consequence with the behavior. Operant conditioning controls behavior by manipulating its consequences. The basis for manipulating consequences is E. L. Thorndike’s law of effect. The law of effect is simple but powerful: behavior that results in a pleasant outcome is likely to be repeated while behavior that results in an unpleasant outcome is not likely to be repeated.

Then how do we reinforce the desired behavior and nonreinforce or punish the undesired behavior? The first strategy is positive reinforcement. This strategy is generally interpreted as rewards: it can be a pay increase, a recognition, or a better opportunity.

Remember that your reinforcement must be contingent and immediate. And it often take times to change the behavior to a desired level, you should be ready to gradually shape the employee’s behavior to the desired level. In the meantime, you can also utilize negative reinforcement, where you discourage, punish or extinct the undesired behavior.

Content Theory

The content theory is built based on some physiological studies: for example, Maslow’s study about people’s need. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, human beings have lower order needs such as physical, safety, and social needs, in the meantime, they have higher order needs such as esteem and self-actualization.

While Maslow’s theory is powerful, it is often too complex to be applied to the workplace directly. A more practical theory is the ERG theory, it divides the needs into three major components:

  • Existence needs: desire for physiological and material well-being
  • Relatedness needs: desire for satisfying interpersonal relationships
  • Growth needs: desire for continued personal growth and development.

ERG theory is different from Maslow’s theory in that is allows multiple theory to be activated at one time.

The third important theory is Acquited Needs Theory:

  • Need for achievement (nAch): the desire to dosomething better or more efficiently, to solve problems, or to master complextasks;
  • Need for affiliation (nAff): the desire to establish and maintainfriendly and warm relations with others
  • Need for power (nPower): the desire to control others, to influence their behavior, or to be responsible for others.

The theory is particularly useful because each need can be linked with a set of work preferences.

Process Theory

Equity theory posits that people will act to eliminate any felt inequity in the rewards received for their work in comparison with others. The equity theory is based on the phenomenon of social comparison.

Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory posits that motivation is a result of a rational calculation: my effort will yield acceptable performance and performance will be rewarded.

  • Exceptancy: How possible it is for the person to achieve that performance:
  • Instrumentality: Probability assigned by the individual that a given level of achieved task performance will lead to various work outcomes.
  • Valence is the value attached by the individual to various work outcomes.

Expectancy theory predicts that motivation to work hard to earn the merit pay will be low if expectancy is low—a person feels that he or she cannot achieve the necessary performance level.