《金字塔原理》表达的逻辑

  • 本文是《金字塔原理》的读书笔记第一篇

无论是出于职业目的还是个人目的,任何经常进行写作表达的人一定经历过这类困难:面对纷杂的思绪,我们应该如何进行适当的提炼,以使他们具有适当的结构从而服务于主题?如何在短时间内将思想组织成清晰移动的文本?如何有效的吸引读者的注意力?《金字塔原理》的第一部分表达的逻辑就试图回答这些问题。关于这些问题,作者提出的策略是:使用金字塔的方式对文本进行组织,再结合故事的方式叙述适当的开头,就能够写出清晰的文本。

在深入到本部分的细节之前,让我们先了解一下金字塔原理具体是指什么。简单来说,金字塔原理就是严格按照金字塔的方式组织和表达思想。金字塔原理将思想的表达抽象成不同的层次,上一层是下一层的抽象和总结,下一层是上一层的解释和展开,而同一层之间是平行的逻辑关系。

金字塔原理关注的是阅读本身信息传达和获取的内容:我们如何通过阅读获取信息,以及为了最方便有效的帮助读者获取信息,我们应当以什么样的方式进行写作。作为读者,我们在试图从文本获取信息的过程里存在诸多困难。因为文本本身是线性组织的,但是为了理解内容,读者在阅读的时候会通过想象再现作者想要表达的思维。金字塔原理就是将文本按照读者处理信息的方式进行组织,以尽量将至获取信息和思想过程中本身的障碍。比如与其让读者对主题进行猜测,不如我们直接将主题化为每个部分的关键句:直接将结构的要点呈现给了观众。

金字塔原理认为,在实际进行表达之前我们应该首先常识组织自己的思想而非直接进行表达,因为倘若思想本身缺乏清晰的结构,表达就无法有效完成。作者提供了两种组织自己的思想的办法:从上到下以及从下到上。从上到下更适合于有既定的主题而且作者对文本想要表达的内容比较熟悉的情况写,从下到上则更适合用在主题并不清楚的写作任务上。

在考虑清楚要表达的问题之后,我们还遇到一个问题:如何有效的组织同一个层次之间的思想?作者也提供了两种方法:归纳法和演绎法。归纳法是通过列举论点并进行抽闲和总结的办法,演绎法则需要通过论点之间的逻辑链条得出最终的结论。作者的建议是,在文章的关键句层次,也就是直接阐述文章主题的层次使用归纳法更合适,而在具体的论点论述层次两者皆可。

当然,仅仅有好的内容是不够的,如何让读者对你的思想产生兴趣呢?通常来说,读者在读到文章非常靠前的部分的时候已经决定了是否想要继续读下去,因此文章的前言是吸引读者的关键所在。金字塔原理的建议是:通过讲故事的方式来引起读者的兴趣。首先是通过介绍一般性的背景使得文章的内容与读者的经验本身产生关联,然后通过指出其中的矛盾或者需要解决的问题来引起读者对于背景介绍中存在的问题的思考,然后提出具体的解决方案,并在后续的部分围绕这些方案展开。当然并不仅仅局限于这样一种模式,在不同的情境之下完全可以使用不同的模式。

注意到了上述要点,基本上就可以写出较为清晰流畅的内容。但是金字塔原理这本书的价值不仅仅体现在知道我们如何写作上,在另一方面,它也回答了很多我们关于思考本身的问题。比如写作的目的,原理认为进行思想的传达是唯一目的。又比如,我们思考如何表达的过程就是不断的对信息进行抽象:对思想进行归类,找出他们不同类比的不同点。另外,也是更关键的,它提供给了我们一把客观的尺子,帮助我们对自己或者他人的写作进行度量。我热爱写作,是因为写作与我本身是一个创作的过程,从纷乱的思想中总结出要点,寻求结构,并最终将他们转换为文字。近距离的观察写过的过程就会知道任何创作都不会是一帆风顺的,我们的思想在不同的层面跳跃,并被各个方向冲突而来的观念困扰,时而沉浸在细节当中体会最细微的差别,时而想要从思绪中整理出条例, 时而困扰于如何组织词句。但正是这样的困境和从困境中走出的过程才是写作最令人痴迷的部分。

《君主论》的启示

开创性和争议性

《君主论》是马基雅维利最为知名的作品。这种知名度来自两个方面,第一是作品本身的开创性。在《君主论》之前,政治哲学的著作,比如柏拉图的《理想国》,亚里士多德的《政治学》等的著作都是从道德原则出发,从人民的总体福祉着手,推演理想的政治体制应该具备的形体,以及理想的君王治理国家的方式。《君主论》的视角则大为不同。它完全从当时的政治现实着手,指出现实中的国家和政治是如何运行的,并且以现实的例子作为佐证来说明君主如何有效的运作国家和政治。

这本书更为知名的一面来自于其论述内容的争议性。《君主论》的基本理念认为,君主需要使用一切可能的手段来治理国家,不论这些手段道德与否。如果能够治理好国家,手段的道德与否是可以放在一旁的。比如,它认为,君主绝对不要以受到人们的尊重和爱戴为目标,如果使人们对其产生畏惧有利于统治,那么久应该毫不犹豫的激起人们的畏惧。

内容简介

《君主论》更像是一本手册,旨在就国家治理的和政治运作的各个方面提供最直接的知道。在这里仅仅简介其中最重要的几个章节。

  • 第十五章:论世人特别是君主受到赞扬或者受到责难的原因

君主应当怎样对待臣下和朋友?有许多人描述了想象的远古的君主的行为,并认为君主应当按照理想的君主的方式行动。但是马基雅维利认为,想象和现实相距甚远。君主不应当依照道德的原则。君主当然应该避免那些使政权覆灭的恶行,但是如果没有这些恶行就难以拯救自己的国家的话,君主应该毫不犹豫的实行这些恶性。

  • 第十七章:论残醋与仁慈,被人爱戴是否比被人畏惧来得好些

君主在考虑应该被人爱戴还是被人畏惧的时候仍然要从最大利益出发。如果为了追求仁慈的名声而不顾整个政权的安全是不明智的。依靠仁慈来维系和大臣的关系也是不可靠的。仁慈依靠的是人的恩义,而畏惧则是依靠人的恐惧来获得的,在关键的时刻,依靠恐惧比依靠恩义要可靠的多,因为人们可以轻易背叛恩义而不敢轻易背叛恐惧。既受人爱戴又受人畏惧是困难的,如果二者需要选择,那么受人选择受人畏惧是更明智的。

君主要受人畏惧而不要受人憎恨。作为君主,要做到这一点只需要不染指臣民的财产和妻女即可搬到。而同时,去掠夺财产确实更容易的易于找到借口的事情,而掠夺他人性命却难得多,因为这需要更加正当的理由。但正因为难才可以阻止君主掉入令人憎恨的境地。

在必要的时候,君主应该将对残酷之名的顾虑置之度外,否则就无法号令下属。必须让下属对君主既敬佩又畏惧。 马基雅维利认为,从根本上来说,君主应该掌握与下属关系的主动权:将与下属的关系建立在自己意志的基础上,也就是畏惧,而不是建立在对方的意志,也就是感激之上。

  • 第十八章:论君主应当怎样守信

君主应该看起来充满美德。在任何时候君主都应该使自己看起来具有这些美德:慈悲为怀,笃守信义,合乎人道,清廉正直,虔敬信神。因为只有这样才能吸引到普通人的支持:人们很容易被表面上的美德所吸引。但君主不应该依据美德行事。一切应当依照利益行事:如果跟利益冲突,那么君主应该毫不犹豫的放下对信义的尊重,即使这意味着态度的180度大转变,出尔反尔。

  • 第二十一章:君主为了受人尊敬应当怎样为人

君主如何成为受人尊敬的人?最高明的方式是通过从事伟大的事业和作出卓越的范例。在政治的冲突之中,君主应该表达明确的立场。如果是被支持的一方更加强大而获得胜利,并不会成为被欺压的对象,因为胜利者始终有正义的顾虑,不会公然出尔反尔。被支持的一方失败,君主也会被人感谢和纪念。为什么保持中立是不好的?因为胜利的一方几乎总是会试图欺压你。君主们需要始终可以主宰自己的命运,而不要使自己陷入受到他人摆布的境地。君主必须表明自己真爱有才能的人,必须经常的奖励有才能的人才能够持续激励人们从事他们的业务。

  • 第二十二章:论君主的大臣

为什么君主应该拥有明智的大臣?人们通过一个君主身边围绕的是怎样的人来判断他的品质:如果他的臣民是明智的,人们就会认为他是明智的。

君主如何判断一个大臣是不是好的大臣?一个臣民如果只想着自己的利益而不顾君主的利益,那么就不是以为好大臣。这也是在政治治理中的一个现象:任何行动一定是出于对整个组织的利益,而不是出于个人利益。臣民应该尽力使得自己的行动是和君主的利益一致的,因为你知道君主会在不知不觉中这样判断一个。在更通用的组织行为学上,我们常常看到当一个人抛弃自己的个人利益的时候反而会得到更大的奖励:比如放弃自己的休息时间来从事对工作的支持。在更上层的管理者严重,这样的行动才是对更大的组织更有利的。因此上层的管理者会通过表彰这样的行动来向更多人疏离榜样。

那么君主如何与大臣相处?君主应该可以分辨大臣的言论的好坏,第一等的头脑通过自己理解,但是通过听取他人的意见,并且具有分辨好坏的能力仍然可以称为优秀的头脑。君主通过鼓励前者,矫正后者来使得臣民对于他保持敬畏。君主应该想着如何使大臣更加忠心:通过分享荣耀,使他感恩戴德,保持忠诚。

  • 第二十三章:应该怎样避开谄媚者

作为君主必须能够耐心的聆听他人的意见,但是最后需要依据自己的看法作出决定,并且坚定不移。但是下属的意见必须局限在君主想要咨询的领域,如果君主本身并不想要咨询,则应当使得下属中没有任何人敢于反对君主的意见。 如果君主过分依赖一个高明顾问,自己的日子会过得很好,但并不能长久。如果君主完全不质询下属的意见,决定出台的时候就会可能受到下属们的反对而难以推行。君主必须能够明智的察觉下属的心思,顾问们的意见都是依据自己的利益而来。

当代意义

《君主论》在现代也是并不过时的。因为它始终从一个侧面提醒我们,现实的政治关系之中是没有朋友可言,只有利益可言的。它也在时刻挑战者我们关于道德的底线:道德究竟是不是政治行动的根本原则。

对于我个人而言,《君主论》提供了一个更加丰富的看待现实政治和组织关系的视角。我从小的教育告诉我道德本身是值得追求的,同时我的成长过程又进一步使得一些对于道德或者美德的信念不断加深,比如对于艰苦奋斗作为价值的认可。我也是一个更容易受到道德力量感召和感染的人。所有这些使得我在思考现实问题,尤其政治和利益问题的时候,容易从道德的立场和角度出发进行考虑。

《君主论》提供了一个更加丰富的视角:从利益出发而不是从道德出发思考现实的政治,思考和判断人们作出行动的动机。这样丰富的视角是完全有必要和珍贵的。尤其是作为一个管理者,在现实的组织政治当中,如何有效的识别他人的政治行动和周围的政治环境,如何有效的采取行动来获得成效,是一个应当不断被思考的问题。

Intimacy, Linking, and Loving During Early Adulthood

Note from <Development Across A Life Span>, Chapter 14: Social and Personality Developmetn in Early Adulthood

  • The Social Clocks of Adulthood

The social clock means the psychological timepieces that records the major milestones in people’s life. For example, the typical man completed his education by his early 20s, started a career, and married at later mid-20s.

The social clock is determined by the culture, they actually reflect the expectation of the society in which we live. For example, the social clock in China are different from the social clock in the US. Each of us has a social clock that provides us with a sense of whether we have reached the major benchmarks of life early, late, or right on time in comparison to our peers.

  • Intimacy V.S. Isolation Stage

During the period of postadolescence into the early 30s, the young adults focus on developing close, intimate relationship with other. Erik Erikson regarded yound adulthood as the time of the intimacy-versus-isolation stage.

  • Falling in Love

How do we fall in love with each other? Stimulus-value-role theory believes there are patterns during the course people fall in love. In the first stage, the relationship are built on surface, physical characteristics such as the way a person look. On the value stage, the relationship is characterized by increasing similarity of values and beliefs. In the role stage, the relationship is built on specific roles played by the participants, say the coupled may define themselves as boyfriend-girlfriend.

  • Passionate and Companionate Love

Some psychologists suggest that our love relationships can fall into two different categories: passionate or companionate. Passionate(or romantic) love is a state of powerful absorption in someone. Companionate love is the strong affection that we have for those with whom our lives are deeply involved.

  • Labeling Theory

According to the labeling theory of passionate love, the individuals experience romantic love when two events occur together: intense physiological arousal and situational cues suggesting that the arousal is due to love. This explains why people may feel deepened love when when they experience continual rejection or hurt from their assumed lover: it suggests that such negative emotions can produce strong physiological arousal, and then interpreted as being caused by “love”.

  • Intimacy, Passion, and Commitment

Robert Sternberg suggests that love is made up of three components: intimacy, passionate, and decision/commitment. These components can be combined to form eight different types of love depending on which of the three components is either present or missing from a relationship. For example, a couple has been happily dating a few months, but have not made any plans for a future together is a romantic love, where intimacy and passion are presented but the commitment is in absent. For a long term relationship, it is not necessary that all three aspects have to be present.

Over the course of a relationship, the three aspects of love would vary in strength. The passion is strong on the early stage, however, gradual comes down in later stage. This means the type of love between a couple also changes along the course, say, from the romantic love to the companionate love, where the Pyhsical passion has taken a back seat.

  • Is Love the Only Factor?

Is love the only factor for marriage? The notion that couples need to be in love was not “invented” until the middle age. Is love the only thing that matters? Different culture would rate different factors, for example, in Chin men ranked good health most important and women rated emotional stability and maturity most critical.

There are two trends in the marriages: homogamy is the tendency to marry someone who is similar in age, race, education, religion and other basic demographic characteristics. Marriage gradient is the tendency for men to marry women who are slightly younger, smaller and lower in status, while women to marry men who are slightly older, larger and higher in status.

  • Attachment Style

Attachment refers to the positive emotional bond that develops between a child and a particular individual. Most infants fall into one of the three attachment categories: securely attached child, avoidant infants and ambivalent infants. It seemed clear that there are continuities between infants’ attachment styles and their behavior as adults. For example, people secure adults tend to provide more sensitive and supportive care, being responsive to their partner’s psychological needs.

Organizational Politics

Another overused but not fully understood term is: Politics. We used this word to describe some working place phenomena:

  • When we say the managers fight with each about the ownership of certain projects, we say these are politics.
  • Many people expressed their preference to work in an environment with less politics. So it sounds like politics are often treated as a bad example for many people.

But what is organizational politics?The formal definition of organizational politics is the management of influence to obtain ends not sanctioned by the organization or to obtain sanctioned ends through non-sanctioned means and the art of creative compromise among competing interests.

There is less formal definition: organizational politics refers to a variety of activities associated with the use of influence tactics to improve personal or organizational interest. The key elements in the organizational politics is: it is about personal interest.

How does people think about organizational politics? There has been two traditional point of views:

  • The first tradition defines politics in terms of self-interest and the use of non-sanctioned means.
  • The second tradition treats politics as a necessary function resulting from differences in the self-interests of individuals.

Organizational Political Activities

We can use two dimensions to map the political activities:

  • The level of political activity: individual level or organizational level.
  • The extent to which the source of power is soft(informal) or hard(formal).

According to the two dimension above, Michael Jarrett could classify the organizational political activities into four types:

  • The weeds

In this level, the political activities are mainly through the informal power, for example, the influence and informal networks.

A typical example can be, a manager used his personal influence to convince a member of another team to make the decision that is better for the manager’s team. Such was of influence or manipulating is very common. As a manager, developing informal channel where you can use your influence is important.

The question for us is: how do we deal with weeds political activities? First of all, trying to understand how the informal networks works. Identify the key brokers so that you can increase your own influence. And you could develop a counter-narrative and strengthening connections with other networks.

  • The Rocks

In this quadrant, the political activities are mainly about individual interactions and the formal power, such as title, role, expertise, or access to resources.

A typical example of such political activities is that a executives might constantly question the decisions agreed with the management team, just because of the potential conflicts with his personal interest. In such activities, he used his personal power to defend his personal interest rather than the company interest.

The best way of handling such political activities is to redirect the entry of a dysfunctional leader, through reasoned argument or applying to their interests.

  • The High Ground

The high ground activities are to combine the formal authority with organizational systems. This term is used to describe the rules, structures, policy guidelines, and procedures that form the basis of political activities.

How much procedure we want to introduce to the organization has been an essential question for managers. The procedure provides a check against the whims of individual level, however, it might also be used as a politics device to challenge the interest that are not aligned with the bureaucrats, or to prevent the innovations.

In order to overcome the procedure, you might declare that a special working group needs to be set up in order to solve an issue or bridge the silos. These special working groups would help overcome the producers.

Formalize a special working group or committee can often speed things up. Managers sometimes attempted to use this approach, however, it could be disruptive to the current team, and might result in overly relying on the special group.

What else can you do to overcome these politic procedures? You might try to convince people that not making change is more riskier than trying something new.

  • The Woods

The woods refer to the informal normals, hidden assumptions and unspoken routines. How do you overcome these political activities? You might do that by bringing the hidden assumptions to the surface: it is totally okay to ask stupid question on the first place.

As management team member, we need utilize the positive dynamics of the politics, while avoid the traps in the political terrains. For example, if we are able to influence the decision making on other team to move the project, we should definitely use it. On the other hand, we also need to be aware of the politics traps, for example, the long procedure to get the project approved by certain team.