....and why now?
HDClarity is an e-zine for those wanting to develop more trust understanding and camaraderie in their work environment, and their life in general. If you'd like to discover methods for reducing struggle, resolving conflict, improving relationships, or just plain relieving stress. A smoother running team is a more profitable team. They get things done faster, for less cost. Please read on. .
An Introduction to HDClarity
In late 2003 after the Power of NO book was published, I
spent an extended stint in Australia
building Catch & Release™ prospecting systems for Caterpillar. During that
trip, my good friend and mentor David Hotle introduced me to a concept he had
learned from his personal coach back in St. Louis. It involved some methods for changing one's
life at will. Don't like who you are,
what you do? Change it. Don't like the relationships you have with
your wife, boss, pastor, kids? Change
them. Want to be a more effective
leader, salesperson, spouse, rally driver?
Do it. You simply have to get out
of your own way. This concept is not new
to the idea of performance coaching. We
all know Greg Norman can't seem to win the Masters even when he has a 6 stroke
lead entering the final round. Why? We've seen our favorite pitcher throw the
perfect pitch in the 9th inning -- for the batter -- and watch a W
turn into an L. We might have also been
aware every once in awhile that we, ourselves, seem to sabotage our own
development. WHY DO WE DO THAT? It withholds us from our greatness and leaves
us no better than we were the day before, stuck endlessly in our personal
David invited a gentleman named Jut Meininger up to St.
Louis from Oklahoma
to present a workshop on developing clarity in our everyday lives. Jut was in his late 60's and retired for
decades from his lucrative management consulting practice. He had written Success through T.A. and How
to Run Your Own Life back in the 1970's bringing Eric Byrne's Transactional
Analysis work to Corporate America. He
was in his later life, a concert pianist and a day-trader. Fortunately, for me, I was a participant in
that event, and it changed my course forever.
Now I began to understand there were explainable reasons for our
I'd heard and sometimes even coached, that we could do
anything we put our minds to. America's
supreme coaches, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar told us over an over
again to "visualize" success, and time after time, most of us failed. What was missing?
Myers-Briggs and DISC profiles gave us some reasons why we
were the way we were, and then went about helping us design a life around our
behavior profiles rather than modifying the profile to suit the life we
Sales trainers told us exactly what we needed to do (albeit
all of them told us different things!) to be better producers (and if they used
assessments like Myers-Briggs or DISC, they told us how to work around our
behavioral weaknesses). How many
potential sales pros have been lost trying to mimic some guru's "system" that
made him a millionaire, or stuff a square peg in a round hole?
The HD in HDClarity stands for High Definition. It's a metaphor comparing the clarity we have
(or don't have) in our everyday conversations that actually define us to our television and in-home video
presentations. Jim Collins 5th level leader in Good to Great is to the autocratic leader with the "do it my way,
now" delivery as today's 1080p High Definition digital plasma screen is to the
black and white TV of the 1950's. Collins
acknowledges the existence of the 5th level leader (in the black
box) but doesn't really explain how he or she got there. Jut Meininger explained how he or she got there.
In the HDClarity e-zines that follow, we will explore how to
use some new tools to recognize that many of us are still communicating like an
old black and white TV, or at best an 80's color TV. My 85 year old Mom sees nothing wrong with
her 80's era color TV....your mom probably wouldn't either. But the fact is that there is a far superior
method for presenting moving video than the 1980's era color TV. The point is we only need to see it to
understand how beneficial it is.
So it is with HDClarity.
One only needs to see it to understand the impact it can have on the
quality of life.
Meininger, Hotle and I and a group of 4-5 others spent the
next 4 ½ years meeting telephonically every Tuesday night working with
Meininger's unique application and using it in our coaching and consulting
practices. We poled it. We tugged at it. We argued about it. We used it to coach each other and adapted it
as a way of life.
Jut Meininger passed away in February of this year...just
before one of our Tuesday night calls.
This e-zine is dedicated to Jut and the work that the group put in over
the 4 ½ years. I want to bring this type of clarity to you,
the reader, my clients, and continue to develop my own personal clarity one
small piece at a time. Take what you will
of it and put it to use.
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The Strain of Communicating Through Filters.
Mis-communication in our lives is pretty much the Standard
Operating Procedure. Most of it is not
critical, because it occurs in trivial situations. A greeting is mis-interpreted, or a joke is
misunderstood. But occasionally, it can
be much more serious than that. A wife
who has had a tough day tries to explain her feelings to her husband at dinner,
and he's on his way out to play basketball with the guys. Or the CFO of a small company attempts to get
his other C-level officers to understand that the current cashflow is not
What happens in these situations is that the transmitter
(the wife in first situation and the CFO in the second) are delivering their
message through their own personal filters.
They have an entire lifetime of experiences, choices, decisions, wins,
losses, operant conditioning, moms, dads, teachers, preachers, bosses, friends,
that determine their "rules of life".
When they transmit, they transmit from that base. Included in these filters, these "rules", are
automatic decisions about right and wrong, moral and immoral, enjoyable and
disturbing. Contained in here are the
concepts of self-worth, need to win or acquiesce, scenarios about how to manage
people, etc. Sure, we all need to be
able to operate on automatic pilot. We
can't stop at every intersection in life and analyze the shape and color of the
sign to know we need to stop before proceeding.
But here's the rub. Our "rules of
life" aren't the same as anybody else's.
When John Gray in Men are from
Mars. Women are from Venus alludes
to that point. How (on Earth) can a
Martian be expected to get his message across to a Venetian?
No two people on this planet have come to this point in
their lives with the same set of rules, the same experiences, were raised in
the same village, etc. Eckhardt Tolle in
The Power of NOW, hits the nail on the head when he
describes a breakdown I communication as "There is no room in his narrative for
the other person's narrative. To be
sure, many of us have similar sets of
rules and that allows us to live together in societies quite comfortably for
the most part. But we will all eventually discover something with which
our filters don't match. Picture a pair
of polarized sunglasses looking through another pair of polarized
sunglasses. If they are polarized on
exactly the same plane, the vision is perfectly clear. But if one pair is rotated 90 degrees,
nothing is visible. When the wife
reaches that inevitable emotional impasse with her husband, or the CFO does not
get through to his fellow managers, the polarized glasses are not aligned.
There are thousands of "filters" we walk around with, that
can cause us to have communication challenges if paired with someone possessing
a different "rule".
You might rate your self on these continua (put an "A" where
you fall) and then rate someone with whom you have recognized an occasional
communication challenge (put a "B"). The
larger the difference, the more likely your "rules of life" don't match
up. My experience shows that when you're
on a subject primarily decided by that filter, you will need to work harder for
clarity in your conversation.
How do I avoid these filter issues and operate with total Clarity?
That is the subject of this e-zine in general. If you can imagine that tomorrow morning you
wake up and you are suddenly clear about what your boss is telling you. You understand your wife's frustration at not
being able to keep the house clean while holding down a full time job. And, you now know that you are not
automatically going to lose that important sale, how would your life improve?
It's those pesky filters.....they're continually distorting
the information that's coming to us.
Eileen is a sole proprietor consultant I coach. She knows intellectually, that in order for
her to make the living she wants to make, it's important for her to talk to a
lot of people (some will need her services and some won't....just like all of us I
suspect). She (like a lot of us, me
included) is not comfortable picking up the phone and calling people she
doesn't know. It's a "rule" she got from
her parents. Don't talk to strangers. So
every time she finds herself in need of talking to someone she doesn't know,
she gets tense and starts to predict the almost certain negative outcome. It's that little voice in her head that says
"this isn't going to work out well anyway, so why bother?" Otherwise this woman is a brilliant
practitioner. She's been doing this for
over a decade, has a PhD. She is well known and respected in her industry in
her business community. But this one
"rule" she has is not serving her aspirations well. It is, in fact, killing the growth of her
Can you see how her "rule" filter is distorting the
data? In order to get her to see it, she
agreed to keep a journal and write down all her negative thoughts preceding
each call, and then force herself to make the call (she'd done that before, she
had to). She just broke out in a cold
sweat every time. I also asked her to
journal what actually occurred during the call.
Specifically I asked her to note what she felt, and the actual outcome
of the call
After 37 calls, she had developed 6 people she was having
conversations with. 5 of them agreed to
meet with her (to consider the possibility of referring business to her) and
one already has referred a client to her.
She showed me her journals. Can
you imagine? Not one of the outcomes
matched her dire predictions. Sure some
of them didn't want to meet with her, but even those conversations were
recorded as pleasurable and even fun in some instances.
Even with that data, right in front of her eyes, that the
accuracy of her prediction is not a fact, she still has trouble picking up the
phone and making the calls she know she must make. But she's getting better.
Another area this e-zine wants to concentrate on is depicted
in the story of Eileen. It's the concept
of constant improvement as opposed to goal focus. Of course you need to know where you want to
end up. The Japanese call this process
Kaizen. Loosley translated it means not
worrying too much about the BHAG (Big
Hairy-Ass Goal), but consistently do all the processes needed to get there
better and better. The BHAG
takes car of itself.
I've discovered how well this works co-driving with Rally
Drivers over the past 4 years or so. (Co-drivers
are the psychiatrist, wife, mentor, navigator father-confessor sitting next to
their drivers getting the most speed on the ragged edge of control out of them
possible). These guys (mine have all
been guys, but there are several very talented gal Rally Drivers) usually have
a very 'macho' "rule of life". They want
to win or wreck trying. And the 'wreck'
part's not difficult to do at 115 mph drifting sideways on a one-lane gravel
road (for info on what I do in that sport, log onto www.kimdemotte.com). My first real Rally Driver project was
Matthew Johnson. Matthew had been rallying
for 6 years or so, having started in low-power VW Golfs and ending up in 2nd
tier Subaru WRX's in the Production GT Class.
He'd been a winner repeatedly in his Golfs, but was having trouble
actually winning in this newer high-powered and more competitive class. There were two other competitors in this
class, and in my conversations with Matthew before we started competing
together he told me that he constantly focused on beating Tanner Foust (Foust
is a very talented rally and drift competition driver who has leveraged his
talent and sponsorship deals into several television shows.) I'm told Tanner will represent the US
in the International Race of Champions this year...so he was a formidable
competitor. And Matthew was so obsessed
with beating him that he forgot how to learn and grow and get better.
On the first rally we ran together, we had a new suspension
that required some testing and adjusting (which occurs while we race, we don't
have actual testing times). About 1/3 of
the way through the event we were comfortably in 2nd place about 2
minutes behind Foust. In the racing
left, that gap was going to impossible to erase, so we agreed to just keep
working on ourselves (process improvement) and not worry about our prime
competitor. Section after section, we
clipped a few seconds off Foust. And
Matthew started to think he was THAT GOOD again and started to focus on the
goal (beating Foust) rather than the process.
In the past, this had frequently caused him to crash and not even finish
the rally. Faced with that data, I
convinced Matthew to get back to focusing on kaizening his driving and our work
together. If we were to beat Tanner
Foust, it was going to be because he backed up to us, not us overtaking
him. And we got better and better and
faster and faster and we worked better and better together...and Foust had a
problem...just a little one, but it was enough for us to gracefully accept
Matthew's first win in his PGT car. Out
the of 5 more races we ran in 2006, we won 4 of them and clinched the National
Championship. Matthew Johnson is quoted
in interviews frequently that season pontificating about how he's not worrying
about the competition, but just working on getting his driving better and
better. He was an instant convert.
You simply can't WISH yourself into your goal. Telling yourself repeatedly "I HAVE to sell
50 widgets before the end of the month" or "I HAVE to beat Tanner Foust" has
the potential to make you crash like Matthew, or at the very least go home
night after night depressed. However, if
you can identify the behaviors and tactics (processes) that have led to success
in the past, you CAN work on constantly improving those processes and the 50
widgets will take care of themselves.
I've seen it work over and over again.
Like Eileen, who's identified the behaviors (calling people she doesn't
know) and monitoring the data (her "before" journal compared to her "after"
journal). To constantly improve her outcomes.
Get clear. Today. It's your choice.
Power of NO, Corporate CoDriver