So you’re tired of creating problems for yourself and you want 2011 to be different. Try making some of these resolutions.

  • Listen. Stay present during interactions. Ask clarifying questions. Ask why this concern/issue is important. By resolving to truly listen — instead of just waiting until you get your turn to speak — you will change your life and the lives of the people you work with.
  • Understand. I’m a big fan of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. Habit number five is to “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Sounds easy, but most of us focus on being understood. By resolving to understand first, you will be understood better. Truly understanding what the other person is concerned about makes you a better boss, salesperson, and family member.
  • Respond, don’t react. Employees pay attention to what you do. When you’re frustrated or angry, it’s important to stop and think before you respond. Even a couple of minutes make a big difference.
  • Grain of truth. No matter how wacky a statement may sound, more often than not there is at least a grain of truth in it. Sometimes that truth is hard to find. Resolving to find the grain of truth in any interaction will make you more successful no matter what you do.
  • Grain of salt. Whatever consultants, clients, or employees say to you, there is always more than meets the eye. Before going off half-cocked based on incomplete information or after hearing something that is too good to be true, take it all with a grain of salt and 2011 will be better than 2010!

Listen in while Sal talks to Paul about the ideas behind this column.

Out With the Old by RemodelingMagazine

—Paul Winans, a facilitator for Remodelers Advantage and a consultant, recently sold the 30-year-old remodeling business he owned with his wife, Nina.

Click here to read more from Paul Winans.