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The sound of silence – 5 common filters we use when listening.

Posted on: Friday, July 28, 2017 Category: Blog (58)
1 min read

We often think of people with presence as the loudest person in the room.  The one you can’t miss.  The one with the buzz around them, making everyone laugh.  In fact, these people are usually firmly in the third circle – judging others and absorbing the energy of those around them.  They are exciting at first, but they can become exhausting.

You can have presence when you are silent. It is about how you actually listen. The trick is to understand the intent of the speaker – to decipher the true meaning.  Active listening is actually still about you – whether you understood what the other person said.  But concentrating on their intent makes it about them and what they want to say.

When we listen, we apply filters. We overlay our own sense of understanding with what is being said. Common filters that we apply are:

  1. Confirmation – inside our head we say ‘I knew that’, ‘I know that’
  2. Assessment – ‘I agree’, ‘I don’t agree’, ‘That’s not true’, ‘That’s not right’, ‘They don’t know what they’re talking about…’
  3. Time-saving – ‘Get to the point’, ‘What’s the bottom line?’, ‘This meeting is running on’, ‘We are getting nowhere’
  4. Utility –   ‘How can I use this?’, ‘How is this good for me/my team?’
  5. Value – ‘This will make me look good’, ‘This will help me get stuff done’

Knowing what filters you apply will help you to open your mind to understanding the intent of the speaker better and create greater impact and presence. Through understanding their intent, you can understand how best to influence them.

To really hear what someone is saying you have to be committed to the exchange.  You have to be present.  You have to be in the second circle. This is the secret to impact.

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