Have you made your New “EARS” Resolution yet??
Before you make yet another New Years resolution that you’ll forget about by February or March, what if you made a New “EARS” Resolution instead.
A New EARS Resolution is a commitment to more purposefully listen, collaborate, and partner with others in ALL your relationships so you and they can create greater value in any endeavors. It’s has four elements:
Empathy – Making a concerted effort to understand how or what another person thinks, feels, believes, wants, knows, and needs without judgment.
Accountability – Understand and acknowledging how our own past choices, actions, or attitudes contributed to the current situation without blame, shame, guilt, or excuses.
Responsibility – Conscientiously making choices and taking actions, in the moment, to create the greatest value for all concerned, given the current situation.
Symbiosis – Recognizing that, while we are all different, we are also interdependent. Maximum success and happiness can only be achieved when we work together synergistically.
One way to get started on your New EARS Resolution is to make it a habit to adopt a “valuegenic” mindset by frequently asking yourself The Central Question of Life, Love, and Leadership:
“What choice can I make and action can I take,
in this moment, to create the greatest net value?”
Just asking yourself this question (in earnest) can help you think better, make better decisions, and produce better results. Turns out, it may also be The Central Question of Good Listening because, quite often, listening IS the answer to The Central Question.
For example, Karen, a senior manager, tended to be quick to judge and “fix” people. She knew her stuff and felt that her ideas were usually the best. After all, that’s how she got to where she was in her career. In conversations, rather than intently listening to the other person, she tended to listen more to the voices in own head about the other person and how she was going to respond when it was “her turn” to talk.
When she learned to approach conversations with The Central Question in mind, she found herself listening with curiosity rather than judgment; presence rather than patience; and empathy rather than opportunism.
She didn’t just listen to people’s words, but to the meaning and feelings they gave them. She listened for goodness and nuggets of gold. By holding herself more accountable and responsible (as defined above) in those conversations, she became a better leader and people responded in kind.
“I’ve come to believe that the wisest person in the room is often the one speaking the least and listening the most. I want to be that person,” she said. “By listening with New EARS and consistently working to find the best answers to The Central Question, I am becoming that person and it feels really good.”
This year make a New EARS Resolution of your own and discover what wonders greater listening can create in your life.