Communication filters

May 9

Communication filters


Building great working relationships


We usually think of ‘relationships' as being with people we know socially or work with closely. 

Socially we choose to mix with people that are similar to ourselves and are generally like minded and who we enjoy.

However, work relationships are often more dynamic, difficult and varied and we need to rely on our communication and people skills to help us be effective with others.

 Whether we like it or not we are always building impressions of and judging others based on a series of pre-conceptions and pre-formed ideas. 

This ‘Filtering' can affect how we work with others and how we respond to them, and how they respond to us.


Some of these filters may be around the following:

Status - whoever has the senior title may feel that they must be listened to over and above the person that has the expertise

Work skills and education - The qualifications that we may (or may not) have, can impact on our perception on other's ideas whether we see them grounded in reality, or fanciful ideas

Race and Culture - This definitely impacts on our expectations of how we communicate and how we expect others to respond to us.  Culture impacts on both the delivery and response.  All cultures have different communication norms

Age - Just because you are old, or young, does not mean you are either out of touch, or lazy

Gender - There is such a thing as gender speak, men and women do relate to one another differently.  A nod from a man generally means they have agreed to something, nodding in women means they are listening, but not necessarily agreeing!

Reputation - How you have been perceived by others will follow you round.  Guard your reputation and see it as your brand and what you stand for

Class - Is this a strong factor in NZ? ( Let me know your thoughts on this one).  Belonging to a certain ‘class' can impact on our ability to mix and work with all levels within an organisation

Last and not least

Wealth - perhaps I should have put this one first?  This filter has more impact than people often give it credit for, even as we pretend that it does not.  Money or the lack of can influence our perception of others quite strongly


All of the filters above can impact on our communication and work with others. 

None of them, in themselves are good or bad things, we merely need to be mindful that they are there and we need to manage our beliefs and viewpoints around these filters accordingly.


Are there other filters at play?  I would be keen to hear if there are others.


As always -

Contact Speak up Speak out for all your

Training or Coaching needs for:

Planning, Communication, Sales, Leadership and Team, Customer service,  Presentations skills or General Management needs

Posted by Denise - May 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm
Posted in Communication

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