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想提振团队士气?体验一场空难吧

更新时间:2017-1-11 11:29:12 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Need Better Morale in the Workplace? Simulate a Plane Crash
想提振团队士气?体验一场空难吧

Montana Woods, 19, a pre-med student at the University of Connecticut, had been told what to do, yet, as the water rose above her head, she was seized by fear and panic. Upside down, water filling her sinuses, it was difficult to remember how to escape.

19岁的康涅狄格大学(University of Connecticut)医科预科班学生蒙塔娜·伍兹(Montana Woods)之前就被告知了该如何应对,但是当水没过头顶时,她还是陷入了惊惶与恐惧。她头朝下,水流进了鼻窦,这时候很难想起如何逃生。

Ms. Woods and seven others — two university students, four trainers from a personal training company and the owner of a paving company — spent the Saturday before Thanksgiving surviving mock plane crashes at an indoor pool in Groton, Conn. Unlike the 120,000 students who had gone before them, this group had no overt need for aquatic-survival training. They all worked safely on land. What they wanted to learn was how to be leaders and to work as a team.

伍兹和另外7人——2名大学生、4名私人教练公司教练和1家铺路公司的老板——把感恩节前的这个周六用来在康涅狄格州格罗顿的一个室内水池里学习如何在模拟的空难中求生。与之前的12万学员不同,这群人没有明显的水中求生训练需求。他们都在陆地上从事安全的工作。他们想学的是如何成为领导者,如何进行团队协作。

The class of three women and five men were clients of Survival Systems USA, which has been teaching aquatic survival since 1999 out of a boxy blue building across the street from Groton-New London Airport. The company has instructed employees of the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, the National Guard, the New York Police Department, the F.B.I., the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Army, among others.

这个由3名女性和5名男性构成的班级是“美国求生体系”公司(Survival Systems USA)的客户。这家公司从1999年起就在格罗顿-新伦敦机场(Groton-New London Airport)对面的一座四方形蓝色建筑中教授水中求生。它曾经训练过西科尔斯基飞机公司(Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation)、国民警卫队(National Guard)、纽约警察局、联邦调查局(FBI)、美国禁毒署(Drug Enforcement Administration)和军队等机构的员工。

In teaching survival skills to those who might have occasion to use them, “We’ve seen residual effects along the way: improved morale, self-esteem, capabilities people didn’t know they had,” said Maria C. Hanna, the president of Survival Systems USA. Until recently, she said, “we’ve never stopped long enough to say, ‘You know, this is something that can appeal to a market in a different way, using the tools from aviation to help people develop themselves.’ ”

“美国求生体系”公司总裁玛丽亚·C·汉娜(Maria C. Hanna)表示,在教那些或许有机会用到这些求生技能的人时,“我们也看到了一些附带效果:高昂的士气、自尊,以及人们之前并不知道自己拥有的能力”。她说,直到最近,“我们每隔一小段时间就会说,‘要知道,它能以一种不同的方式吸引一个新的市场,用航空领域的工具帮人们发展自己的能力。’”

Now, Ms. Hanna is hoping to market her company’s services as a team-building activity. This was the second time Survival Systems had given the new class. Since the curriculum is still being tweaked, it was offered at no cost in return for students’ feedback, but soon the six-hour, one-day experience will retail for about $950 per person, a price comparable with the company’s other one-day programs.

现在,汉娜希望把自己公司的服务当作一种团队建设活动进行推销。这是该公司第二次开设这种新课程。由于课程还处在改进阶段,所以是免费的,只需要学生提供反馈。不过用不了多久,这种6小时的单日培训课就会以每人约950美元的价格进行销售,与该公司另外那种单日培训的价格相当。

The building’s crown jewel is a Modular Egress Training Simulator, a plastic and metal craft that can be arranged to resemble the cockpit of almost any helicopter or small plane on the market. A purpose-built crane lifts it up and lowers it into the pool. Other equipment in the cavernous space can replicate the downwash from rescue helicopters, and generate rain, darkness, 120-mile-per-hour winds, smoke and fire.

这座建筑里最重要的设备是一台模块化训练模拟器(Modular Egress Training Simulator),它是一架塑料和金属材质的航空器,可以用来模拟市面上几乎所有直升机或小型飞机的驾驶舱。一台特制的起重机可以将模拟器升起,或降入水池。这个巨大的空间里还有其他一些设备,可以模拟救援直升机的下旋气流,也能制造降雨、黑暗、时速120英里的大风,以及烟和火。

During a preliminary tour, Ms. Woods saw the simulator for the first time. “I looked at it and I realized it would start filling up,” she said. “I’m a lifeguard, I surf, so I shouldn’t be scared of this but personally, water deaths are my least favorite deaths.” In high school, Ms. Woods read Sebastian Junger’s “Perfect Storm,” about the sinking of a fishing boat, and, ever since she’s retained a visceral image of drowning.

在初步参观时,伍兹第一次看到了这个模拟器。“一看到它,我就意识到它会慢慢灌满水,”她说。“我是一名救生员,经常冲浪,所以本不该害怕这个,但溺水是我个人最不喜欢的死亡方式。”高中时,伍兹读过塞巴斯蒂安·荣格(Sebastian Junger)撰写的讲述一艘渔船如何沉没的著作《完美风暴》(Perfect Storm),从那以后,她脑海就中一直留存着淹死的生动画面。

The instructor talked to the class about teamwork, leadership goals and safety procedures for the activities ahead. After a lunch of pizza, the students walked eagerly to the pool deck. Everyone wore flight suits, water shoes and helmets. It was dark and foggy. AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” blared and a disco ball lit the room. “All we need is a roller rink,” one of the personal trainers joked.

教练给学员们讲述了团队协作、领导目标,以及将要进行的活动的安全步骤。在用过披萨午餐后,学员们急切地走向水池跳台。他们每个人都穿着飞行服和溯溪鞋,戴着头盔。室内光线灰暗,雾气朦胧。喇叭里大声播放着AC/DC乐队的《Thunderstruck》,一盏迪斯科舞厅的闪光灯照亮了房间。“现在就差一个溜冰场了,”其中一名私人健身教练开玩笑说。

Now, the classmates jumped without hesitation from a 14-foot platform into the pool. Life vests inflated, they were given the duration of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” to find a way to stay warm while floating. It turned out to be: Assume a carpet formation, arms linked, legs under the arms of the two people across from you.

然后,学员们毫不犹豫地从14英尺高(约合4米)的跳台上跳进水池。救生衣鼓了起来,他们要在席琳·迪翁(Celine Dion)的《我心依旧》播完之前找到在漂浮的同时保持温暖的方法。结果就是:像织地毯一样,将胳膊连起来,把腿放在对面两个人的胳膊下面。

Taylor Cintron, 19, an economics major at UConn, was put in charge of the next task, boarding an inflated life raft. Before the last person was on, “Singin’ in the Rain” started playing. Wind and water blasted the raft. Ms. Cintron yelled orders over the squall. Everyone got aboard and, after some scrambling, the life raft’s tent-like roof was closed against the rain.

19岁的泰勒· 辛特龙(Taylor Cintron)是康涅狄格大学经济学专业的一名学生。她负责下一项任务,登上一艘充气救生船。在最后一个人上船之前,喇叭里开始播放《雨中曲》(Singin’ in the Rain)。大风和雨水冲击着救生船。辛特龙在狂风中大声下达命令。所有人都上了船,在一阵忙乱之后,救生船像帐篷一样的屋顶关上,挡住了雨水。

The pop music was supposed to ease anxiety. It appeared to be working. “I’m less scared than I thought I was,” Ms. Cintron said during a break. “I hate touching people,” she said, but “this is O.K., I trust everyone that I’m with. It’s not touching for no reason.”

流行音乐是用来减轻焦虑的。它似乎起作用了。“我不像自己之前想得那么害怕,”辛特龙在休息时说。她说,“我很不喜欢跟别人有身体接触,但这个是可以的,我信任团队里的每个人。这些接触不是没有原因。”

Finally, each person was strapped into the simulator, submerged and flipped. In this exercise there are three rounds. First: You reach for the window frame, undo your seatbelt, pull yourself out and swim to the surface. Second: Add a closed window to the puzzle. (You’d do the same in a submerged car, only you might need to break the window.) Third: Pretend your window is stuck and, by holding onto the seats and the console, cross to the adjacent window.

最后,大家都被绑在模拟器里,沉入水下摇晃。这项练习共有三轮。第一轮:够到窗户框,解开安全带,把自己拉出去,游到水面上。第二轮:增加一个要打开关闭的窗户的步骤(你在沉没的车中需要做同样的事,只不过你可能需要打破窗户)。第三,假设你的窗户卡住了,你要抓住座椅和控制台,游到邻近的窗户。

An instructor is poised behind the participants the entire time, ready to whisk them to the surface if anything goes wrong. Though no one has drowned during the training, the primordial fear remains.

在整个过程中,一名指导者在受训者背后,准备在出现问题时,把他们迅速推到水面上。虽然没有人在培训中淹死,但原始的恐惧依然存在。

“Last time I took my staff here, two or three backed out,” said Greg Drab, 40, the owner of Advantage Personal Training of Mystic, Conn., which had sent the four trainers to the class. “After the second exercise, a couple people had hit their threshold.”

“上次我带员工来这里时,有两三个人退缩了,”40岁的格雷格· 德拉布(Greg Drab)说。他是康涅狄格州米斯蒂克村“优势个人培训”公司(Advantage Personal Training)的所有者,前述四名教练就是这家公司送来的。“第二次训练之后,有几个人已经开窍了。”

If Mr. Drab had been paying retail, this would be more expensive than the $50 ropes course he’d done with employees in the past, but even at $950, he said it would be worth it. “You get to see how people handle stressful situations,” Mr. Drab said. “This unifies the team.”

如果德拉布是支付零售价的话,那可比他过去让员工参加的50美元绳索课程昂贵,不过他说,就算要花950美元,他也觉得值得。“你能看到人们如何应对有压力的情况,”德拉布说,“这能凝聚团队。”

Everyone in that Saturday’s class escaped the simulator successfully, but it took Ms. Woods longer than she would have liked. Standing by the pool, still dripping, she said she felt “a little more at ease with my whole fear. I know as long as you follow the procedures there’s nothing to worry about. In every situation there’s a moment of panic and you have to squash it.”

在周六的课程上,所有人都成功逃出了模拟器,但花费的时间超出了伍兹的预期。她站在水池边,身上还滴着水,她说她感觉“自己能更自如地应对所有恐惧。我知道,只要按照步骤行动,就没什么好担心的。每个情境中都有一个恐慌的时刻,你必须压制那种情绪。”

Within the team-building industry, Survival Systems’ course would fit into the category of extreme experiences, like driving a racecar at 150 miles per hour or flying a fighter jet, said Merrick Rosenberg, the chief executive of Team Builders Plus, which is based in Marlton, N.J., and has taught classes to Fortune 500 companies since 1991.

Team Builders Plus公司的首席执行官梅里克· 罗森伯格 (Merrick Rosenberg)说,在团队建设行业,美国求生体系公司的课程属于极限体验类,就像驾驶时速150英里的赛车或开战斗机。Team Builders Plus公司位于新泽西州马尔顿,从1991年起为世界500强公司提供培训课程。

Mr. Rosenberg said he distinguishes “team-bonding” activities from those with “deep learning or cultural transformation” as their goal. In a team-bonding experience, he said, like the Survival Systems’ class, participants “overcome self-imposed limitations” and learn trust, communication and leadership, but they don’t re-enact and critique workplace dynamics as they would in the more interpersonal “deep-learning” exercises. Team Builders Plus offers both.

罗森伯格说,他认为“增强团队凝聚力”的活动不同于以“深度学习或文化转变”为目标的活动。他说,在美国求生体系公司的课程这类增强团队凝聚力的活动中,参与者“克服自己设定的局限”,学习信任、交流和领导能力,但是不会像在更注重人际关系的“深度学习”培训中那样,重现和评价办公室活力。Team Builders Plus公司提供这两类课程。

Mr. Rosenberg said survival-skills classes appeal to some more than others. “There are specific types of groups that like high-risk activities,” he said, citing lawyers and people in sales, public relations or marketing. Those in social work, nursing, finance or engineering, he said, might not be as keen to face the fear of drowning.

罗森伯格说,求生技能课程对某些人更具吸引力。“有些群体喜欢高风险活动,”他说。他提到律师以及销售、公共关系和市场推广方面的人士。他说,从事社会工作、护理、金融和工程的人士可能不会那么渴望面对溺亡的恐惧。

“I would think this is a very millennial experience,” he said. “It won’t appeal to everyone, but for the people who match that demographic, they’re going to have a blast.”

“我倾向于认为这是一种很有千禧世代特色的体验,”他说,“它不会对所有人具有吸引力,但在合适的群体里会非常受欢迎。”

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