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A longtime client recently observed that he thought I was refreshingly more unfiltered of late in sharing both my perspectives and opinions. At first, I was concerned about being offensive, but his use of the word refreshing put me at ease. He then asked if he could probe a little bit as to why I was behaving this way. He tentatively wondered if my recent health scare and challenge had shifted my perspective, and if I perhaps felt a greater sense of urgency in assisting people with achieving their goals.

I welcomed this perspective and my immediate, gut-level response to his intuitive inquiry was, yes. I was intrigued and somewhat concerned about this new behavior. Was I now wavering from my guiding principles and mantras of “slowing down to go faster” and “trusting the process” because of this recent glimpse into my mortality? Or was I simply being more authentic and providing useful perspectives that could help people see potential “blind spots” that were inhibiting their effectiveness and impact?

The answer is unclear. However, I am enjoying the integration of both allowing people the time and space to discover and explore new ways of being and doing, and feeling truer to myself and to those I interact with by being less filtered and more direct with what I am seeing and sensing. I am curious about how much time and energy gets wasted in relationships and organizations by being too filtered and measured.

Perhaps this would be useful for you. How can you be more authentic in your interactions, limiting the amount of caution and sharing what you are seeing and experiencing? Recognize that while these insights are not necessarily THE Truth, they are your truth, and they could be quite valuable to share as a gift to those who count on you for your perspective.

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  1. scott hansen on November 8, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    This has been an intriguing topic to me for some years. I have gotten some pretty strong feedback that I need to “filter” my words, my emails, my actions, even my body language. I thought about buying a robot to do my communication for me…didn’t pan out…yet.
    Professionally, after learning some techniques, and applying them, I noticed severe efficiency losses in all that I was doing. I found myself speaking slower, operating slower, proof reading everything, and keeping my hands in my pockets. More remarkable, I noticed that my messages were not clear to the intended recipient. This resulted in several misunderstandings and re-communications. Very big losses in my world. So, I convinced myself that I over-corrected. Since then, I have been, and continue to, fine tune this skill…im not sure how well it’s going really. Im not satisfied with the current situation. I don’t feel like me.
    On a personal level, I do just about no filtering, and our communications are something to be modeled after. We talk about our feelings and perceptions. The recipient of the message is super-aligned with my intentions. Friends, family, and loved ones all get me…”unfiltered”.
    With a filter, some things simply don’t get through, for me it was the message. My newest approach is to apply more of a diplomatic focus to my real-unfiltered behaviors. Thinking about how the recipient wants to receive the message. I hope this as a nice middle ground, time will tell. Im hopeful that my message gets across and my genuine honesty is still the core of the communication.
    Let’s see…good post, thanks!

  2. David Irvine on November 8, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Thank you Ralph for this perspective. A very timely message in this day-and-age where we’re taught through the media, educational systems and employment to filter everything we say. We are taught to be “politically correct”, comply with HIPAA Laws, and then there’s the impact of our overly litigious culture upon us. Yes, we need to consider how we express information to others, but we also need set aside some of the barriers society has placed around us (using wisdom of course) and exercise a willingness to be vulnerable as we provide honest and open dialog with each other.
    Excessive filtering impedes the value we can provide others. We will never know in this life, the full impact we have upon others from the seeds we have sown through our communications and relationships with others.

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