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Self-Awareness Matters: Finding Your Filters

This post is from esther derby associates, inc. by Esther Derby. Click here to see the original post in full.

I remember sitting in a project meeting back when I worked for a Big Company. The project manager, Ted, announced the top three priorities.  When I offered a different view point, Ted declared, “You’re wrong. We decided on these priorities yesterday.”  He didn’t notice six out of eight people at the table  shaking their heads “No.”  


Ted didn’t notice the responses and reactions of people around him. He also didn’t  notice that he didn’t notice.


We all have filters. That’s a good thing–our cognitive systems can’t process all the data that’s available. But most people filter out useful information as well as extraneous information (for example, the size of loops in the carpet or shoe styles). What any one person filters depends on his preferences for big picture vs. detail processing, intake style (verbal, visual, tactile) and training.


Learning about your own filters builds self-awareness. Knowing what you tend to filter allows you to choose to ignore that information or make a conscious choice to notice it.


Ted deprived himself of the choice to notice...

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