Understanding filters is essential to effective communication and leadership

If your communication skills aren’t as effective as they need to be, or your leadership style isn’t getting the results you want, it’s time to adjust your filters.

“#NoFilter” may be a great hashtag to highlight an eye-catching photo on social media, but in real life, filters are always present. And they always affect how you see, communicate with, and connect with others and how others do the same with you. Understanding your filters is important because they are the start of how most people perceive you.

What do we mean by filters?

Filters are a mindset—your perceptions/thinking/thoughts based on many, many factors in your life and experiences that start to dictate how you choose to act. Filters impact how you’re going to interact with your team, colleagues, coworkers, vendors…really anyone.

Defining Filters

Filters are human nature and how most of the world operates, and they’re very situational. For example, you apply this thinking based on a filter or set of filters in one situation and that filter/set in another situation. Your thinking and the choices you make change based on the filters you have.

Filters aren’t inherently bad—it’s our experiences and perceptions that make us who we are as individuals and leaders. What can be an issue, though, is that over time your filters create a pattern of thinking that keeps you in a box or comfort zone.

The problem is, being an effective leader isn’t about staying in your comfort zone—it’s about expanding your comfort zone!

Think about it. Most of our ability to lead is capped or limited by our ability to effectively communicate and connect with various people in various situations.

When you expand the number of people you can connect with and the situations you can handle, you also expand your influence, your reach, and ultimately your effectiveness as a leader.

This is a leadership skill you need to develop. Your filters justify your current comfort zone, but in order to break out of that zone, you have to challenge your filters and understand how they might be inhibiting your effectiveness.

To get started, take a minute to think about how you filter the world.

…Are these filters helping you as a leader or are they inhibiting your leadership potential?

…What filter(s) are your greatest inhibitor at work?

…How are these inhibitors blocking your success or progress? Why do you think they’re blocking you?

Your leadership and communication capabilities are unlocked when you can identify these inhibiting filters and reframe them.

Next time we’ll share a process to help you reframe your filters to create stronger connections, communicate effectively, and generate positive results.

How can we help your leaders and business excel?