What Makes the “H” Trait Special?

OK, let’s talk about the H trait.  Correct Estimation.

Many years ago my mentor made an observation that I have observed for myself to be true, and which puts the importance of the H trait in a correct perspective:   The only mistake there is, is the incorrect estimation of effort.

Too much or too little, too high or too low, too far or not far enough, too long or too short, too hard or too soft…

We are talking here about the right effort to strike a golf ball; the correct effort to make the sale; the right amount of acknowledgement to let the other person know she has been heard and understood; the right amount of pressure on the gas pedal; the right amount of heat in the oven – and time to bake the cake.

This is a universe of dichotomies, and the correct path is the one that is not “too” anything:  it is just right.  It is the correct estimation of effort.

Mother nature likes balance.  When things are too much one way or the other, She moves in to correct them.  Mother Nature deals with reality. Mother Nature has a very high “H” trait!

The “H” trait measures the ability to see the reality of things.

Incorrect estimations are wasteful of resources and cause problems that then need to be solved themselves, so this trait is very much at the root of why an operation runs well – or doesn’t.

Here is where a “fixed idea” can cause trouble.  If someone cleaves to a favorite idea of “how to handle children,” for example, he finds difficulty.  The solution that might have worked when it was first used will very likely be inappropriate for other applications.

Exercising a “one-size-fits-all” operating basis places one at odds with the present reality.  This results in an incorrect estimation of the effort required to bring the scene to an optimum condition.

People with a Low H trait are operating through the opinions and conclusions they have drawn from past experience.  They are continually comparing what is going on against this past experience, and therefore do not see things as they are.

They are always critical – which is to say continually comparing what is happening against some other, hidden, criteria.  The hidden thing – an idea or attitude – is the “solution” they want to impose on the current circumstance. This always results in waste and new problems that, themselves, need to be solved.

“Patriotism”, like any rallying cry, is a concept born to command allegiance to an idea rather than to an ideal solution.  Hence we find people making ridiculous decisions as “patriots to the cause” which actually defeat the cause!  Someone who “always votes with his political party” even if the candidate is a chimpanzee is a low H trait.

This is called, “Creating a solution that becomes another problem.”

The Low H can align successfully with certain jobs.  Any job that requires someone to “put the red items in to box number one, the blue items in to box number two,” would attract the low “H”.

The dentist, for example, is looking for bad teeth to fix them. His training provides him with the idea of “good teeth,” and his mission is to find anything at variance with this so he can adjust it accordingly, which means back to his own (“correct”) reality about things.

When he comes away from a patient to handle his staff with this same operating basis – “find-things-wrong-to-fix-them” – he can drive his staff crazy and his family in to emotional apathy.

He lacks judgment because he is not seeing life as it is:  he sees it through some slanted perspective to which he has already granted allegiance.

Security guards at airports have low H’s.  People in technical fields where lots of rules need to be followed are commonly low H’s.  There is no judgment required: it is either slot A or slot B.

You are not hiring them for their social skills.

Governments, unfortunately, are filled with Low H traits and are thus liabilities for the countries they govern.   They follow agendas that are born in back rooms and Board Rooms. They do not represent actions that actually solve problems.

If governments were filled with High H traits, the world would run smoothly and efficiently and without war and crime and insanity.

I was getting a new driver’s liscense some years ago and turned in my written test to an officer who graded it.  He said, “Very good, sir, you only missed one!”

I said, “Pardon me, sir, but I didn’t miss any questions on that exam.  Please look again.”

He did, and said, “You see here, sir, that on question #33 you answered “C” when the correct answer is “A”.

I looked at his answer sheet and confirmed this.  Then I read the question again and the answers, and the correct answer was, in fact, “C”.  His answer sheet was incorrect!

I pointed this out to him and his response was the typical Low H response: “I don’t know why you are concerned, sir.  You only missed one!  You will get your license.”

Amazing! There was no ability to deal with reality here.  I asked to see his supervisor who also commented that he did not understand my concern because “You only missed one!”

I told them that it was not a matter of my license but the fact that their answer sheet was used for everyone, and it always gave the incorrect score because of this wrong answer.

They did not see the importance of this.

I got the manager of the facility who was, fortunately, a high H.  He took one look at the answer sheet and at the book and said, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention sir.  I’ll have this test answer changed and notify the other facilities as well.  And, by the way, well done on your perfect score.”

The High H sees things as they are.  Life is simple.  Solutions are simple – and actually solve problems without creating new ones.

The High H trait shows judgment because he is looking at things the way they are.  He therefore has a correct estimation of what is happening.  He sees the current scene without prejudice.

He is not caught up in dramas of one kind or another, and gets quickly to the real source of problems because he is comfortably there and facing them with no other agenda.

These people are excellent listeners.  They are good managers. Test pilots  depend on high H traits as they must always deal with what is actually happening in present time.  They can “think on the fly,” so to speak.

You could think of this as the “Reality Trait.”  High H sees it as it is. Low H brings his own reality to the conversation and hence has less agreement with what is actually going on.

There is much more to know in the Evaluator’s Manual about this fascinating trait. Hopefully these few words will inspire you to more fully grasp the importance if this fundamental ingredient to a successful life.