Today I want to dig into something that’s really been working well for me, especially recently. The topic I want to go through today is something that’s used in marriage counseling. The acronym for it is to L-E-A-P, meaning to Listen, Empathize, and Affirm someone before you offer your Perspective.
As business owners, we’re charged up. We’re ready to take the world by storm if we need to when times are tough. With that sort of energy in business, we tend to bring that “kicking ass, taking names” mentality home with us and it comes out as us offering our perspective a lot.
This is me being completely real - this episode was recorded during the first few weeks of COVID and the quarantining that came with it, so my kids and I have been at home for a few weeks together. What I find now during these times, is that I feel a sense of “I’m the commander-in-chief” and I’m giving direction. On one hand, it’s serving the businesses really well. On the other hand, it’s entering into my family. It’s like I’m giving orders.
This is where the equation is helpful - it reminds me that I only get to give perspective once I’ve listened, empathized, and affirmed the other person. You have to L-E-A before you P. It may make you a leader in business, but even there it’s not without its drawbacks - building your business that way isn’t sustainable. It requires you to be at the root of every decision and every move the business makes.
If you’re always giving perspective, you’re not going to have a sustainable business. In the early days of my business I was much the same way. It took me learning a lot of lessons about giving perspective before I was able to grow the right way. I brought that energy into my marriage and it wasn’t helpful.
Challenge yourself to really think about this. Are you listening to respond, or are you listening to understand? I’m continually battling this and I have to check myself constantly so that I don’t always run over people when I respond to them.
If you want to have a good relationship with someone, whether it’s in business or in a relationship, you need to make sure you L, E ,& A before you offer your P.