Today’s podcast, “Creating Your Clearing for Breakthrough” is the audio from a webinar presented by Tony Mayo, The Business Owner’s Executive Coach. Listen to this recording and then join us for Tuesdays with Tony at Twelve, a weekly, free webinar where you can explore powerful executive coaching tools and ask Tony about applying them in your life and career.
Tony continues last week’s discussion by reviewing the meaning of breakthrough, how to manage yourself and your environment to increase your chances of experiencing breakthroughs.
Today’s distinctions include:
• Interpretation: the thick, distorting filter between us and reality
• The Foundational Practice for Breakthrough
1. I am interpreting events.
2. I can be responsible for my interpretation.
• Historical Discourse
• Always-Already Filter
Video, handouts, and other resources from this and other webinars are available for free at:
Thanks to MusicOpen for providing public domain recordings of Beethoven.
Mostly for the benefit of the web indexing engines.
We coaches call our most useful concepts distinctions. I’ll tell you quickly what I mean by distinction
Any field of expertise any area where people have skill and the ability to get things done. They as they work at this skill in this domain, they increase their facility.
And one of the key ways we do that is they literally see different things, different things become distinguished from the background foreground, background as a big conversation around coaching. I hope I wish it were a bigger conversation around people’s conversations in general.
I have a
Book Review, I guess you could call it on my website that I’m very proud of. I wrote a 20 years ago I read the well known book A razors edge.
And I realized the book was very much playing with this foreground, background idea, as did MC Escher. So go ahead and Google Tony Mayo, the razor’s edge that should come up with my essay exploring this further, but the idea is
Based on our experience our expectations, our intentions and commitments we literally can distinguish different things. For example, for myself.
When I open the hood of my car, I pretty much see a lot of dirty metal. Now that’s about it.
But a an expert mechanic raises the hood of the car and they see manifold covers air cleaners electronic ignition components. They see worn wires.
They see parts that had been replaced recently they see clean areas where someone’s done some work all these things, they’re able to distinguish because of their expertise fact I might even switch it the other way around and say that
Because they can distinguish it, that leads to their expertise so coaches talk about distinctions and today’s distinction is breakthrough and I’m looking, step by step, each week on our free webinars.
Different aspects of this breakthrough so that you can get more skilled at creating your own. So today I’ll do a quick review will be covered in some previous sessions around breakthrough and then introduce some new distinctions
Things concepts, ideas insights that will help you distinguish things in your own life so that like a skilled mechanic, you can put your hands on them and do something with you. Well,
There was a mini webinar right there just for the Facebook folks that came here early. But I’m recording it it’ll go out into the archive for all the Tuesdays with Tony as
Well, right now I’m gonna take a drink of water have a deep breath and get ready for the the opening of the webinar in about two minutes, so stick around more to come.
The zoom. So I can hear the zoom. I’m not even sure if on Facebook live, you can hear people say, Come on, speak that way.
Can’t get the link that activate from my iphone it’s not highlighted. I wonder if that’s because it’s such a long thing and probably
Tom try the link up at the top there. I’ve got another short one. I can, I can try. Let me switch over, see if I can find another link that might work.
Of course, you can always type in this go to my website county mail com slash Tuesday’s that’s also under free stuff.
But the thanks for mentioning that that wasn’t getting highlighted, Tom, it’s, it’s good to know what’s working, what’s not working. If you’re going to do something every week, maybe you should get better at it. So I’ll work on the technology and see if we can do more in that regard.
Alright our two more minutes for some folks to join me on zoom and then we’ll dive into today’s review previous content as well as the additional content for next time.
That’s all good news that the the webinar is pretty much working
All right. It’s noon on the East Coast of the United States. So I’ll be kicking off but today’s webinar.
Right now, and I see that Jane has joined Hello Jane. Good to see you.
Just about to get started. I’ve got the Facebook Live going over here and hope more people join over there.
Yeah, Facebook, Tom is noticing. He’s not getting the link to work.
To bring them over to the zoom meeting Facebook pride isn’t like sending people out anywhere else they want to be the whole internet
Hello Hello how are you
Doing all right thanks I’m multi screening. I’ve got
Two cameras on tap for my monitor here.
One goes to zoom in one goes to Facebook Live focus on Facebook Live won’t see the slide. So I’m encouraging people to go over to the zoom meeting at the link that I put up on Facebook, which Facebook is reluctant
To make a live link for people to use. Oh well. Zuckerberg needs more money to ensure his own privacy and safety.
Whatever the motivation, maybe and things in Europe apologizing for his success today.
But that’s the case. That’s what’s going on. So if I look over here. Sometimes this because I’m trying to find out what’s going on safe book Facebook Live, make sure that’s still going out.
And also I’ve got my phone working over there so I can see what I’m sending out to you. All right, let me make one adjustment here.
I am going to
I want to share my screen that’s stop the screen share and now they see me. Nope, that didn’t work.
Share screen. So, so share screen so they don’t want to stop share. There’s a big red button. I’m just overlooking because you
Know it’s all me as it should be. Because it’s my show her height.
And as quickly as I did that. I’m thinking maybe I want to go back to zoom out.
Look at that we are still broadcasting and
That’s there, appreciate your patience.
Well, good. I’m appreciating the poster behind you.
Were you in that cohort.
Oh, yes. Yeah, that’s, I love that.
That is for the folks watching that is one of the https grad school classes and our Brian, I want to say Wilson is my beach right
Had that put together into it’s a nice yearbook. You actually look at instead of just seeing the binding on the wall.
You can see the whole group of the wall in next. That is my one year schedule and various speaking and coaching engagement, so I can get a sense of how things are going.
As you can see lots of open spots plenty of opportunity there. Alright. The should be away here for you to click and share my screen. Why is that suddenly
Okay, so I just want to let folks know that
There’ll be links to reference articles in a recording of this at this location.
Tony Mayo to the show my Arab, it doesn’t. But you can see that okay and
There aren’t many of us. So if you can just speak right up and ask you questions, that’s fine, but I got the chat window up as well.
And I will show you how to use that chat. We’ll just keep moving. So we talked before about how breakthroughs.
But with this.
Seal seals is a tremendous
Insight that is required to have that sudden dramatic event. So that’s the kind of breakthrough, we’re talking about here, you can have in your own life and in your own career.
Whereby really understanding the structure that you’re in doing a lot of preparation, putting those charges and just right places. Having the timing set up perfectly. You can in an instant.
Re structure, a big part of your life, but it doesn’t just happen.
Because of a few minutes intention requires a good deal of insight and preparation, but then things can move very quickly.
As I tell my new clients don’t expect much the change for the first six months or so, but then suddenly dramatic things can happen. So let’s talk today. But what goes on in those six months of executive coaching setting you up for your first of many, many brands.
I discussed, one of the time the concept of the clearing, which I really crystallized for me when I was visiting Shenandoah National Park, not far from here in Virginia.
With the range was telling us about this area called Big med house now chanin dough in general is surrounded
By forest, but it’s fairly new forest because unlike those areas out west, where the government found a beautiful piece of land and sort of put a fence around it.
Shenandoah was reclaimed farmland and Homestead and they just let it go, natural and the trees came up, will the range was showing us around this 80 acres of big meta
Thing had been a meadow for as far as they could tell about a millennium.
Well, thousand years long time so I raised my hand. And I said, what is it about this particular area inside the forest that keeps it tomorrow and that out. Is it the geology microclimate what
She said, Well, we mow it twice a year, and I said a lot that handles and most recent 50 years. But what about that 950 before that.
And she said that the Native American hunter gatherers, that is live there would clear the land and then periodically burn it. Keep it a meadow.
They did this because deer was very important to their survival and essentially there’s two ways for a stone age group to get it, dear, that they need. They can get very stealthy and clever.
And work the way through the woods, trying to get close enough to a dear to you know harvest it or they can create an environment that’s attractive to the deer that they need.
And by creating a meadow in a forest, the deer come out to feed on the young shoots and grasses that grow there and then you’re free to harvest it at a time, in place of your convenience.
So the principle here is that by creating clearings that attract things we want we can live a life of harvesting instead of a life of chasing through the woods, hoping to catch something and then dragging it back.
So what do clearings attract. Well, it’s very easy to know what the clearing you’re creating your life attracts right now.
It attracts what you’re getting. I know it’s a tautology. But sometimes a tautology is an insight.
Whatever you are experiencing in your life on a repeated basis. Good things and bad things you can take responsibility that you’ve created a clearing the characteristics of which clearing are attracting what you’re getting.
Now if you want to attract something else. If you want to get something else a foundational way of dealing with it is to change the clearing that you’re creating. One of the easiest ways to create a clearing that attracts something different is to change your expression.
Now my resting automatic expression is not one that attracts interaction mine almost creates a cone of repulsion. So that people don’t interfere with me when I’m out and about getting stuff done.
But I find and I had to discover this over and again that if I have a more open posture and it’s smile with eye contact strangers smile back
store clerks, talk to me we engage in conversations we learn things we built relationship. Just that subtle change in my face. Maybe in my body posture.
Is a clearing that attracts different things into my life and you can make adjustments like this all through your life. I talked last time, but an office I visited that struck me as being a place of efficiency place where things got done and nothing was wasted.
But I couldn’t put my finger on what it was about it. They call us that. Well, when I met with the CEO. This was a company that sold mainframe computers to the government.
And he wanted to convey this impression of efficiency of no waste, but reliable results but want to spend money on plush offices anything fancy high tech because that could look expensive to a government buyer wasteful.
So what he did was made sure that the place was inaccurately clean every day all day.
That the carpets. We’re shampoos every six months replaced every four years that the walls were painted fresh every year. So it wasn’t expensive. It wasn’t wasteful, but it was clean. It was crisp. It was an environment where work got done. That’s the clearing he created
Just like this clearing can attract deer out where they can be harvested.
So far, so good. Any questions concerts insights places you might want to apply it in your own life.
Well, all good. All good.
All right. Thanks, Jay.
Clicking over Facebook.
All right, Tom Hanks was able to type it in manually. Hey. Oh, I got a first time we’re on Facebook Live welcome Terry, I’m glad you took the time
And if you want to interact more asked me send direct questions. I won’t be watching the Facebook Live all the time, but I will be paying attention on the zoom that you didn’t get to from Tony Mayo dot com slash Tuesday’s
Alright, one more piece of review, a big part of the clearing
A foundational practice is to notice that you are interpreting events that we don’t typically react to what’s happening. We are reacting Tao what’s happening fits in with our model of the world.
And not only are you interpreting events, but you can be responsible for how you interpret those events. And so you want to get really powerful.
Realize that everyone else is interpreting events and not necessary responding to exactly what you’re doing, least of all your intentions.
And that you can be responsible for how are they are interpreting your actions, your communications that’s powerful leadership.
Instead of retreating to some explanation or repetition of our intentions. What he meant what we hoped, what we were trying to communicate, we can notice what communication, people are actually receiving from us and be responsible for the way we communicate the time we communicate
Very powerful stand in this regard.
Is to take on
That the meaning of my communication is the response I get
Think about how you would behave differently.
If when the response. You got to one of your communications wasn’t what you wanted, instead of retreating to your intentions to repeating yourself to explaining yourself you took this as information.
About the filter through which they’re listening to you.
So if I
Announced a policy at work that I think would be motivating employees that would improve retention.
And I get rumors of grumbling or indifference.
Doesn’t necessarily useful Phoenix Masih I’m trying to do something nice. I’m trying to help you. Something’s clicking is a chat. There’s something in the chat.
Yeah, I have yet, Terry. You got it. That’s exactly what I’m talking about you saying some point, you have a bank where he spent a lot of his life.
Working in banks.
And the school he’s done so much work for the first impression is folks enters our space.
What is it, he’s hoping it’s open fresh and welcoming can be very useful Terry to notice how people walk in, just hang out in that lobby that pain entrance, see what people do. Are they coming in and scratching their heads wondering where to go next to may be some way finding that’s necessary.
Would have us will have some of your actually said hello some environments that puts people off. They want a chance to orient themselves on their own.
Other places. It’s a relief well, thank goodness. As a human. I can talk to. But again, the meaning of what’s communicated by in this case the lobby of your school or your business is how people react to it.
The meaning of a communication is the response, not like it’s true. Just as something that might be useful for you to act on
Let’s go on to further explanation of some of these concepts.
I tend to think that
The information that comes to us through our senses.
We tend to treat as what is, you know, there’s this ball of the world, that’s where things are happening, things are said seen felt hurt smelt touched
And we tend to think we’re reacting to what is, but it’s not that simple. Because all of us have this thick layer distorting filter that consists of what you already know.
You know girdle, change the world. In the early 1900s, with his incompleteness theorem.
And essentially what that said, for our purposes is nothing is a complete set of information. We’re always bringing some assumptions, some tools. Some methods and ideas from outside the system.
To help us understand what’s in the system and as teachers and leaders building those bridges and connections from what they already know.
To what we’re trying to teach is very useful necessary a positive thing to be considering but first we have to notice that there is a filter.
No two people are going to walk into that bank lobby or school entrance and see and experience the same thing because they have a different thick distorting filter of what I know.
So, this puts is pretty far away. Is this little area of what is is a thick distorting filter of our assumptions, our beliefs, our expectations or hopes our fears mostly fears for most of us, most of the time.
The things we know we’ve learned that we’re bringing into this experience. And then this is the crust. And that’s where we’re coping with the world. Most of the time.
We think we’re going out little dot in the center, but more often. We’re trying to interact with that little crust on the edge that is so thin. This is not a scale drawing this is sort of one of those
Drugs, you see of the solar system where they say if it was really to scale in the sun was that size, the earth would be out in the other room somewhere. Yeah. It’s kind of like that with this to
The filter is so thick that you almost wouldn’t see that dot of what is and you know
A lot of time. We don’t see that thought of what is which is dealing that little crust on the outside. It’s like the atmosphere of the earth. These and other astronomical example.
I heard an interview, an astronaut recently. He said, being in space.
What is one of the insights you notice about life on Earth that really impress you, that changes the way you go about things that changes as they think about it, what he knows that thick filter of how he looks at the world and this is what he said.
Watching the sun come around the Earth when you’re in space you’re struck by this very thin layer of atmosphere in which everything humans do except for space travel in under see
Everything happens in has happened for humans in this little layer called the atmosphere that atmosphere is so thin on the earth that proportionately.
This skin of an apple is thicker than the atmosphere. Think about that. If the Earth with your size of an apple. The atmosphere would be thinner in the skin of that apple
So that’s kinda can change your attitude about taking care of the air being cautious about the earth.
So let’s talk about this filter this filter that changes so much of what we deal with
Another term for this worldview that philosophers us is the world view. We all have a view of how things work. What matters what’s forest what’s against us what’s beautiful what’s repulsive.
All these opinions ideas things to protect ourselves driven often buy shares, but sometimes by hopes and aspirations is still distorts our view of reality. Sometimes that’s a very useful distortion, for example.
Is is wonderful experiment where people were brought in and asked to control a light bulb. They’ve had a switch. They so without light bulb comes on. Try to turn off as quickly as you can.
But they didn’t realize is that the switch wasn’t connected to the light bulb. The light bulb was going on and off at random switch did nothing.
But the point of it was these people had also been screened for depression.
The people who are clinically depressed.
We’re much more likely to realize that they had no control over the light bulb.
Believe that they had a system that they clicked fast enough or repeatedly enough or actually the proper pause. They don’t have these schemes for how they believed they could do some degree control that ball.
They’re completely wrong. But you know what that attitude that the world works in a way that we can influence leads to a better life, a happier life.
People who are depressed, maybe write about how much control you have over the world back doesn’t given what they want.
It just makes them more believe that it’s hopeless that they don’t control anything that you shouldn’t bother just give up. That’s the definition of being depressed.
So reality and all it’s cracked up to be. That’s why we love leaders see things that don’t exist.
Leaders who have been to the mountaintop who’ve seen the promised land and can tell us what it could be like for us, it doesn’t exist. It’s made up. But if we act in a manner consistent with this world that’s visualized imagined by a compelling good communicating leader.
We have a better life now.
Taking action towards creating the world we want gives us a better chance of living in that world right now. Win or lose
Let’s take apart this idea of their worldview. If we’re convinced that their worldview matters if it makes a big difference.
Our green is more philosophical terminology
Historical discourse. This is the idea, the concept. It’s a distinction. It’s not the truth. Nothing I say is true, it just ideas that you can decide whether they work or not, whether they’re useful for you’re not
Historical discourse, they sent me to we continually involved in a discourse in some sort of conversation of back and forth and interaction with the world and the people in the world.
And many discourses began before we arrived.
We are continually
Always already walking into a movie that has started. You know, you walk into a room and someone’s watching TV and the show seems kind of interesting that you kind of kind of catch up with it.
But you’re not sure whether you’re catching up with a forest or drama is this science fiction or a documentary, you have to learn some of the rules. Some. What’s the clearing here.
Because this is a historical discourse, this movie walked in on it started before you got there, so that discourse in the census interaction, it’s a conversation
But its historical and that it started before you participated. All of us have joined these historical discourses some more importantly than others. One of the most important is the historical discourse on what it means to be a family.
Because our parents, maybe our siblings, our extended family, the village, the community. They all were having a conversation about what it meant.
To take care of her baby to bring someone into the world to raise a child that discourse started way before you showed up. But now you’re in. If you’re interacting with it.
You show up at work at a new company.
That companies discourses conversation and it was going on before you got there, you know, trying to figure out what worldview runs this, what are the rules here. How do we make an impact. How do I protect myself.
So there’s always already a filter that the people around us are using and it’s a different one than ours.
What’s the pointer pointing this out.
What makes a distinction useful. What gives a distinction any value is how can influence the actions we take to move us closer to or isolated from the future that we intend to create
That’s the idea. Well, if I’m showing up at a new company as a consultant as an employee as a vendor.
I want to pay attention, how people communicate how they respond to different circumstances.
Are they nervous when they’re brought together for an all company announcement or are they excited when they haven’t all company announcement.
When they see an email from their supervisor outside work hours is that stressful, or is that possibility for action. And once you learn the filters, other people are using. Then we have more of an opportunity to choose our own reactions to
Cheating I’m looking at the wrong slide and getting jack to. There we go. That’s what I wanted to show you is, yeah, there’s a filter there all the time as an idea as a possible concept again. Oh, this is true. This is not physics, we’re talking about these are tools we can use for our own
Improvement if they don’t work, they don’t work, move on.
But if he stopped a if people have a filter, then we can start working with it. It’s what I know what they know, for instance.
When I start with a new CEO client. One of the things I do is get an agreement that I can have a confidential conversation with four to eight people who know this person well
And she gives these employees spouses whatever permission to speak for you with me because that’s confidential on that evaluating anyone. I’m not bringing back a report.
I’m just using this to understand some degree, just the background. So I know what the stories are that people are telling you what the context. But more important.
I’m getting a picture of the cumulative sick distorting filter that people are relating to this person with
You see everyone you interact with everyone that CEO interact with has a somewhat different filter.
But if we get all those filters together and compare them. There’s going to be commonality in that common filter that the people around each of us has for interpreting our communications that our actions. Well, we call that a reputation.
And our reputation has a huge impact on what we can accomplish with a particular action. I had one client, not the CEO is head of a division in a consulting firm.
Who had a reputation of being a bit of a bullet having kind of a chip on the shoulder of always proven that he knew more than everyone else.
He was very distressed by this because people don’t want to work on his projects and he didn’t like being seen as a bully as a troublemaker. As someone who made folks uncomfortable.
When his intention was
He wanted to help people. He wanted them to learn, you want them to do excellent work, he wanted to point out where their
deliverables were weak where their process had gaps and he was doing this so they would get better become more valuable more effective, but because of his reputation as being a know it all and being argumentative and feisty people couldn’t get that contribution.
In this was even harder for him because he happened to work with one of those people. We’ve all met them who’s just so engaging so charming.
There is bosses filter was this is a nice guy who’s going to look out for me this boss could say outrageous things, things that if anybody else said them, it’d be it’d be a lawsuit.
So I had this subordinate who had a difficult reputation and he said anything the least bit not encouraging supportive politically correct would be vilified
Watching and trying to emulate a boss who got to wear the same ridiculous things because his way of being had created a filter a worldview among his employees that he’s a nice guy. He’s for me.
So what did we do well my client became more aware of the mannerisms that supported this unfortunate filter. He literally would relax his shoulders. He noticed when he was feeling tense worked up excited, you’d keep this hands down, breathe more deeply he relaxed his forehead.
In pointed out the same errors demanded the same high level of performance explain to people the same taxing difficult techniques for getting great work.
And after a couple of years. He was the most in demand consulting manager at that place. Everyone wanted to work with him because they knew they would get better because they knew the boss was out for them. But for them, trying to get into a good life.
That’s one of the values of being aware of this stick distorting filter that we all deal with
Once you know what it is you can start to deal with it.
And it takes a long time to move reputation with a different group of people, especially one with reputation is that you’re a little bit threatening somewhat dangerous.
Anytime. He wasn’t aware of his posture of his tone of voice, how he introduced his corrections, he would lose weeks of credit is. Oh, yeah. There he goes again.
And you have to build a back step by step by step, but after a couple years his reputation at pretty strong so he could, he could make a few mistakes now and then.
That’s what we’re going for here is to number one. Notice we are creating a clearing all the time that clearing affects how people interpret our actions and other communications.
In or get clear what that is how its operating, we can start to shift it
Because become much more effective at getting the results we want, and that’s after all is what communication is for we communicate to make things happen.
It’s not transferring data from one cranium to another. That’s pointless. It’s to make something happen. So of course he start from. Here’s what I want to have happen.
Would be clearing that will be supportive supportive of that because hey, sometimes getting angry and blowing up is the appropriate response, not because you deserve to, but because that’ll get the results you’re looking for.
And what I say no circumstances is that’s not anger using me taking me over like an emotion like a wave of whether that I can’t control. No, that’s me husing anger.
I went through a lot of negotiations than disappointments with the folks who worked on my own theater. I know first world problem.
Through a lot of trouble getting that darn thing set up the way I wanted it set up to this point where we’re at a tremendous impasse.
And. And then I said, Okay, it’s time to get angry now use the fact that I was taller than him that we want to get louder that were in my, on my turf and I use the anger to get them towards the outcome that I thought was correct.
But I wasn’t worked up disturbed upset later on was just noticed in the anger was one of the possible responses available to me. It was genuine and rather than suppressive for channel it which which would be appropriate. Many other circumstances that Tommy decide to let it rip.
And it worked. It’s it becomes a choice. And that’s really what all my coaching is about a probably wrap up on this thought
It’s to explore that gap between stimulus and response and make that a little bit longer so that I consider what I’m up to
And I’m not just reacting based on my historical discourse on my assumptions, but I’ve learned how my dad would have reacted how I’ve seen my boss react, what I made it mean about from that leader I saw on TV. Now I’m stopping
Saying, Okay, this I just noticed I still have a commitment and now I can behave in a different way.
All right, let’s see anything up on the comments on Facebook or on zoom
All right, well, I would like to wrap up with any questions, any comments and particularly if this some opening for action.
On today’s conversation if there’s someone you’re going to talk to if there’s a communication, you’re going to have based on this distinction. I’d love to hear about it now. So
Who has something to say either
type it into the chat window or to just come on probably
Know this is very, very timely, so you have an important call this afternoon and
listening intently. And now I can see how I can
Make sure that this phone call has the better outcome.
Yes it much more positive outcome.
Right. And that reminds me of the the instruction shared with many of you, I learned it from Sandler sales. That’s when he gets someone on the phone can be useful to say, it sounds like maybe I caught you at a bad time.
And that doesn’t number. There’s one. It’s sort of disrupts the the routine. So they’re not just operating on autopilot to actually take a moment, say, hmm.
I wonder why they thought this so it becoming more self aware
And there’s something well what impression that I want to give this person a phone. So it’s an invitation to this untrained personally had side of the phone.
Thing. Well, what am I committed to you. Why am I on this call what impression to I prefer to give and so many times I hear people relax or become more attentive don’t hear so many clicks in the background.
So these are all little cues to help people get out of their automatic responses based on history and focus on their intention.
Tom. Anyone else want to give me a concluding thought before I wrap up for today.
Okay, so next time we’ll be talking more about what I call the express lane towards, towards breakthrough and
We’ll see you all. Then I hope
Thank you, Tony.
I Jane carry
Can’t car. Thanks for being with us. And I hope you’ll join me next time.
All right, I see somebody else in the chat window, what’s going on there.
Right, yeah. Terry, we’re all still learning. That’s how we know we’re alive. Otherwise, we just turn into meet machines, I think.
I’m going to end today’s meeting. I’ll see you all next time.