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      High Definition Trust, Understanding and Camaraderie
           Reduce Struggle   Resolve Conflict  Improve Relationships   Relieve Stress

In This Issue
An Introduction to HDClarity
The Strain of Communicating Through Filters
How do I avoid these filters and operate with total Clarity?
Why Clarity.....
....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 and Malaysia 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 mediocrity. 
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 personal sabotage. 
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 wanted.  Why?
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 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   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.
Light 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 sustainable. 
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 business.  
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.

  Johnson Jump
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.

Kim DeMotte
Power of NO, Corporate CoDriver