What is detachment? Is it high intent? What’s the connection between them, and how can detachment possibly be a gift?

  • High intent is a mindset. Detachment is a function of high intent. The combination gives you the ability to harness everything you’ve got into a moment, situation, project, or circumstance – without labeling or assigning value to the outcome.
  • In exercising both, you give precedence to helping the prospect have an optimal experience no matter the outcome.

This past July, I spent eight amazing days on the coast of Maine with my blended family of four kids, two of which are not biological. One of my kids, is an athletic, easy-going eight-year-old boy with the kind of demeanor that’s easy to connect with – as my twelve-year-old son and I did right away.

The six of us had been on previous trips together, but never for this long. A new rhythm and connection was forged among us as we kayaked, boogie-boarded, sailed, climbed, hiked, and played about every sport imaginable. A new family dynamic – with new routines – was born.

Kids shopped which parent would give a better answer and be more compliant to their requests. The stream of questions never ended. The children policed themselves, each one taking turns to interrupt whatever the grown-ups were doing. There was a constant known on the bathroom and bedroom doors, which made it impossible to be on time for scheduled activity. The result was a new sense of family.

When vacation was over, all of our kids had to go back to their respective other parents. Within a few hours, the noise, energy, complaining, laughing, and thumping was no longer present. It was a reminder to me that nothing is permanent. One of the most important aspects of my life is like every other aspect in some ways – impermanent.

A strange thing happened the night we got back, which caused me to pause and think through this new reality. After I dropped my kids off with their mom, I had dinner with my remaining new blended family. Over dinner, the tone and mood of the eight-year-old boy changed, and took me by surprise.

He must have felt some guilt for having such a good time without his dad, because he started to compare everything we did during vacation to how his dad would have done it better. It was in that moment, I realized that there might always be an impermanence in the connection between the two of us. Truth be told, it stung a little.

I decided my gift to him would be what any one of you would do, which was to accept the impermanence, support his comparison, and encourage this spotlight he reserved for his father.

It occurred to me that the greatest gift I could give could only come from accepting impermanence. What was the gift? Detachment and high intent. With it, there is no need to compete for an outcome. There is no need for acknowledgement or accolades. There is no need for acceptance. The best thing I could do for this young boy was to support his vision of his dad and provide my unconditional companionship.

Attachment Versus Detachment

This experience may seem superficially to have nothing to do with sales – but it actually does. Compare the dynamics and growth of a new, potentially life-long relationship to the tug of war of a sales cycle. Both relationships have an “I” (egocentric nature) and a “them” (prospect), each with their own history, motivation, and perceptions that can, at times, compete.

You need to decide at which level you want to play. Attachment could easily cause me to think and question our connection. For example:

  • I thought he really enjoyed our time together. (I thought they seemed really interested in our solution.)
  • I thought I did a great job of bringing him into our family. (I thought we did a great job of presenting value.)

These filters (thoughts) focus primarily on what I might want.

Detachment Allow You to Play at a Higher Level

Detachment truly is the best high intent. Accepting the reality that impermanence is permanent can be a new strength and path of a new performance level.

  • What’s the best thing for him? (Should any of this matter to them?)
  • What eases his confusion and strengthens his relationship with his dad? (How do I help them get to the right path in order to make the best decision possible?)

During and after your next prospect conversation, don’t filter what you learn through a lens based on what it means to you. Focus on what is all means to your prospect. It could be the gift you both have been seeking.