We only have one opportunity to make a first impression, and sometimes we don’t even get that opportunity. Almost universally, we make judgments about people as soon as we meet them. Tall, short. Fat, skinny. Attractive, unattractive. Cool, uncool. Rich, poor. My kind, not my kind. Are the judgments you’re making getting in the way of your success?
A client of mine had a preconceived issue with company owners, his exact target market. He prejudged them all to be high dominants, and his life experience (Knower/Judger rules) didn’t allow him to handle high dominants well. So when he interacted with them, he would enter the conversation with fear. His presentation was weak and unimpressive. Sometimes these targeted prospects were nothing like he prejudged them to be, but since his K/J had already categorized them, the presentations all went about the same. His career was in a tailspin.
We all make these kinds of judgments. Consider the following:
- Owns a company—must be a high dominant.
- Out of work—must not be too ambitious.
- Has an accent—probably carries a green card…or maybe not!
- Big and African-American—I should be cautious.
But the company owner could be a passive Zen philosopher. The individual with an accent could have been raised in a Bosnian family right here in St. Louis, and the big, black guy could be a minister. Originally there was no room in our K/J picture for these translations, but there they are. The question is: can we be present enough to see them?
What happens next depends entirely on whether the conversationalists are in their K/J personas or their Learner/Researcher personas. If they are in any way apprehensive, history tells us that they will fall back on K/J rules and run with their initial (possibly erroneous) understanding. The conversation is crippled from the outset.
So the sales conversation that’s about to take place between the salesperson and the company owner has a high potential to be scary to the salesperson and time-wasting to the executive…if they remain in their respective K/Js.
But if they can get present for just a moment to launch this discussion with no preconceived notions, then they are both free to explore the reality of each other.
At one of Corporate CoDriver’s Clarity Summits, the client who prejudged company owners learned of the Hawaiian affirmation technique called Ho’oponopono and decided to try it. It worked. Initiating conversations with people he had previously feared became effortless. Suddenly, these clients were no longer scary. He had discovered it was he who made them so.
What will you use to short-circuit your judgments about people? How can you get rid of the filter that defines them for you before they’ve even had a chance to define themselves? There are myriad ways to quickly get present; Ho’oponopono is but one. I urge you to find one that works for you. There are a lot of wonderful people out there, including you, and all your L/Rs would do well to chat.