落胆した同僚の扱い方を知らない欧米人

■東電OL殺人事件の被告の無期懲役が確定してしまった。母国語の通じない日本で一人法廷闘争を闘ってきた被告は、果たして日本人と同等の弁護を受け、自分の意思を正確に伝えるための機会を与えられたのだろうか。佐野眞一のルポルタージュを読む限りでは、決定的な状況証拠などどこにも存在しないと僕は理解したのだが、おそらく司法は一介のノンフィクション作家のペンの力によってその権威が揺らぐのを恐れ、意地でも無期懲役を確定しようという意図を持ったのではないかと考える。もしも被告が白人だとしたら同じ結果になっただろうか。
■Western people don’t seem to know how to deal with depressed colleagues. Let’s think about the following example. One top management of a certain company declears to stop a project for some reasons. Among the project members, there was only one Japanese member who got angry with the top management decision and started persuading the top management to change his opinion. The other members, all Japanese, seemed to be depressed and demotivated since they felt as if they were told that all the efforts they made were in vain. One Western manager, who was project member and has just heard the news, came into the project room when the project members were discussing how to handle the top management’s opinion. This Western manager immediately declared war against the top management by saying why we must stop this project while we had already come very close to the end, we should continue it, we can persuade the top management to change his opinion, I will discusss with him, etc… He continued talking very positively and aggresively. If you are a Japanese, you might be able to easily imagine what happened in that room. The Japanese member mentioned above immediately agreed with the Western manager and got motivated strongly for continuing the project. But all the other members got demotivated further by too positive and active attitude shown by the two persons. It was not the motivated Japanese project member but all the other depressed members that had to be motivated for continuing the project. However, the Western manager not only failed to motivate the depressed project members but also made things worse by demotivating the depressed members moreover. This Western manager proved that he can’t motivate depressed colleagues in a meeting before. In that meeting, one female colleague clearly got nurvous because of a coming big conference where she has to prepare presentation materials. She even showed her depressed emotion by intentionally talking little. At that time the Western manager couldn’t find any words to say for motivating her. Again, if you are a Japanese, you know how you should behave in order to motivate the depressed colleagues. The depressed people don’t need soldiers. They need a priest to share their feeling (not thought) with. Firstly you must start saying, “I’ve heard you were told to stop this project. I felt very sad when I heard it. I’m very sorry that the top management said such a thing as if he neglected all the efforts we made so far. And I can understand how you felt now. I feel sorry just as you. But I think there might be room for negotiating with the top management to change his opinion.” The first thing you must do is to express your sympathy for the depressed colleagues. It is very easy thing to do, isn’t it? Sharing feelings, sympathizing with the depressed persons, that is one of the most basic social skills of human beings. There is no need to motivate the persons already in positive mood. It’s easy to say you don’t like people in negative mood. But in many cases it is not the motivated persons but those in negative mood that you have to motivate. When we talk about how to motivate people, we must not forget we are not talking about motivating motivated people but motivating demotivated people. When we motivate demotivated and depressed people, the first thing we have to do is not to share thoughts with them but to share feelings and emotions with them. If we don’t start from sharing feelings and emotions, we will be able to motivate only a mere handful of persons in our organization. It would be an ethical issue if you couldn’t deal with depressed people. If you were a human being, you would never be able to neglect the fact that your colleagues sometimes get depressed. We can say that those who look only on the bright side of life are ethically deficient.