Individual Quality - The EROS Equation

"E + R = OS". (Event + Response = Outcome and Solutions) (i.e.: The EROS Equation).The EROS equation is often used in the theory of interpersonal relationships. The equation is applicable to negative outcomes of emotions such as frustration and anger (or lack of happiness).

I am unsure as to who originally developed the EROS equation to give appropriate credit, so any comments on this would be helpful and can be submitted via the form at the end of this article.

EROS argues against the belief that Events cause us to React and that the reason for our Reaction was because of the Event. While this cause-effect relationship is the cornerstone of all Science/Math. It does not apply to interpersonal relationships and communication.

"E + R = OS" tells us that Outcomes and Solutions are a 2 part process combining both the Event (E) and our response to the event (R). The equation suggests that our control as humans relies ONLY in our ability to choose our Responses (R). Events happened (Past), Outcomes will happen (future), but it is our Response (Present) to the event that we control.

I believe this is illustrated in the story given by Stephen Covey in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People when he talks about the concept of a paradigm shift.Covey describes an experience he has when commuting on a bus.A father and some kids get on the bus. The kids are making quite a bit of noise and the father is doing nothing about it. (E)Covey believes that the father should have more control over his kids (R) Others on the bus appear frustrated and annoyed by the noise (OS). Covey decides to ask the father if he can quiet his kids down. The man tells Covey that their mother just died and that the man hasnt yet figured out how to tell the kids. Covey then makes his paradigm shift. He then tries to comfort the father and help out the situation.Covey essentially changed his R.RESPONSE-ability" as the ability to choose our response (R) to a given situation.

If the MESSAGE SENT is not MESSAGE RECEIVED, the error is not caused by the sender. It is likely caused by the automatic response assigned by the RECIEVER when interpreting the MESSAGE from the sender.It is important to note that even if several Receivers exhibit the same automatic response, this does not validate an error in the message.In fact most people will have the same automatic response to a given stimulus this is nature.It is the ability to choose our response, however, which makes us human.

Those against this theory may argue that this is a cop out.



In this example, neither Person A nor Person B care about their response they simply act on the automatic negative response that is generated.We can see here that this loop will never end unless one party chooses a response that is different than the automatic re-action. In fact, only one party has to recognize control of the R at first to allow the cycle to end.So we do consider others feeling in the sense that we choose our own R to the automatic reaction of our own feelings.

In Summary:

The senders RESPONSE-ability is to provide a communication that delivers a clear direct message toward a goal. Even if trying his/her best a sender may still send an unclear message. If the receiver provides feedback to clarify the communication, the senders is RESPONSE-ability is to rephrase the response to clarify the miscommunication.

The receivers RESPONSE-ability is to choose a response to the sent message that meets the need of the goal.If the receivers automatic response is negative, the receiver can choose to provide feedback to confirm the message sent.

If we do not choose our response, but instead let follow our automatic response we will forever be stuck in the loop above.

E + R = OS does allow us to absolve ourselves of some guilt. If the message sent was not intended to cause harm but harm has occurred, then we can recognize the need for better control over our Rs.It does not however absolve the case where harm was intended.

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