Using different filtersI was reminded of this principle a few days ago watching a movie. From my perspective, as the watcher, I could see both sides of the story, but each character in the movie could only see their side and interpreted the same communication event very differently. Chaos ensued, but looking on as the watcher the chaos seemed avoidable and unnecessary.

In a way, both were right, and both were wrong.

Think of a current misunderstanding or argument that is ongoing in your life. What is your perspective, what could be their perspective, and what is the wider perspective?

If we communicate something by word or action, we need to look at the response we get to understand what the other person received after our communication passed through their filters and biases and beliefs. What they got and acted on may not be what we intended to send, hence the principle above.

By the way, we can’t expect people to change their filters to suit us, even if they could. If the response we get means the communication didn’t work, then it is up to us to communicate differently.

Here is some more on how your filters affect the communication you receive, and how other people’s filters affect the communications you send to them.

My best wishes, Paul


By Paul Matthews – Speaker/Author/Expert on Informal Learning and Workforce Capability
Author of new book “Learning Transfer at Work: How to Ensure Training >> Performance
and bestsellers “Capability at Work: How to Solve the Performance Puzzle
and “Informal Learning at Work: How to Boost Performance in Tough Times
Connect with Paul on LinkedIn