What is Meta-Detailing and How to Use it for Improved Performance & Goal Achievement | Perception Academy

Jason Schneider
3 min readOct 21, 2021

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Have you ever heard the expression “the mastery is in the details”?

One of the things that sets a master apart from people earlier in their development is the master’s ability to notice the finer details and distinctions that others brush over and miss altogether.

Not only are masters able to notice those details but they are able to respond to them appropriately and efficiently. The more masterful someone becomes the finer the distinctions to which they are able to respond.

But there is one more important piece to this equation…

Not only must they notice the details, but they must be able to transcend the details within a larger structure.

This is the skill of meta-detailing. Meta-detailing is the ability to go meta to the details in any particular domain while at the same time holding a larger organizing framework in mind.

Have you ever been trying to make progress on a project but got so caught up in the details that you lost track of the big picture?

I see this occur a lot in coaching conversations where the client shares a lot of information and the coach gets lost in the details (sometimes insignificant details) at the expense of the overall conversation.

By becoming entrenched in the details we risk “losing the forest in the trees.”

This is why the skill of meta-detailing is so important. Not only do we have to be able to notice and attend to the details but we have to, in the back of our mind, hold onto the larger plan and fill in the details along the way.

The larger structure allows us to know which details are relevant and important, how to organize those details, how much time to devote to any given details, and when it is time to step back from those details the larger structure gives you the ability to know your next important step as you come back to the larger plan.

This skill is not the easiest thing to develop because there are a lot of moving parts which is one of the reasons why it is reserved for those who are masterful. Nobody said mastery was going to be easy! But if you think back to anything that you are masterful at I guarantee you are already meta-detailing in that domain.

So how can you further develop your skill of meta-detailing?

Think about a particular goal, skill or project you are working on:

  • If you just have the big picture without the details you may have a great plan or overview but missing crucial details to implement.
  • If you have the details but you don’t have a larger structure to effectively organize them you can get lost in the details and lose sight of the bigger picture. You won’t know which details are actually important and what to do with them.
  • There is also the possibility that you are skilled at both seeing the big picture as well as seeing the details, but you may be focusing on details that are not aligned with the bigger picture outcome you would like to manifest.

If you profile yourself within the above three categories that can help you to shine the light on your next steps so that you can move yourself along your mastery pathway.

The skill of meta-detailing takes effort, time, and persistence to develop in any particular domain but it is well worth it because this is one of the crucial distinctions that sets apart the masters.

Through meta-detailing not only will you be more likely to achieve success on the important projects in your life. but you will become more self-actualized as you increase your capabilities in taking intentional action to develop your skills, and of course, your self.

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Originally published at https://perceptionacademy.com.

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Jason Schneider

Master Trainer of NLP, Neuro-Semantics, president of the US Institute of Neuro-Semantics & my passion is to unleash self-actualization in people & organizations