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    July 2010
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Get A Filter!

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on July 27, 2010

I’m not kidding…most of us have “foot-in-mouth” disease.  Even when we spend the time to think about what we say, our filter is often broken.  It doesn’t mean that we are not articulate, smart individuals.  It might mean that we are too close to a situation to be objective even when we think we are.

What to do?  Get a filter.

There is nothing like a good cup of coffee.  Even if you buy Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, it would just not taste the same if it came with the grains swirling around in our cup.  Thank goodness for the invention of the F-I-L-T-E-R.  We like our cleaned up version better.  It makes it easier to swallow.  In fact, if it weren’t filtered, we might only take a sip, smell it or something minimal.  We would certainly not finish the cup.

The same holds true for emails, letters and voicemails.  This applies to our professional and personal communications …think about Alec Balwin’s internationally exposed voicemail to his daughter.  I am not defending him.  I am suggesting that if he had a filter, he would have handled that situation better.  We can leave the psychoanalysis of his actions to the professionals or to the tabloids…

The point is that a lot of our bad communications come from an emotional place.  It can be anger, frustration, sadness, fear, and even happiness.  We are so caught up in our feelings that we often cannot filter well for ourselves.  Present company is included in the need for a filter.

I recommend that you find someone you trust with your emotions that is also good with words.  Someone who can help you boil down to what your point is and what you are trying to accomplish with the communication.  Again, while letting someone know how you feel may be satisfying, it may only be self-serving and in the long run can come back like a Boomerang to kick you in the butt.  It is particularly tricky in situations when you are communicating with a person who has power over you, like an employer, a professor, an official, etc.  Upsetting someone who will evaluate your performance in any situation and then reward or punish you through grades, compensation or recognition could be a big deal and have a significant impact.  So with a filter, you have a chance of turning something around and make it work for you.

Any of you have situations like this that you care to share?

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts.  Won’t you share yours?


One Response to “Get A Filter!”

  1. Philip said

    I end up acting as a filter for friends quite often, maybe a little too often… Anyways, I notice that is one of the drawbacks to having reasonably good writing, and grammar skills though I am far from perfect. I have one friend in particular who seems to be writing a lot of scathing e-mails both work and personal (thankfully not to me) and on top of having no filter, he fails at using spell check. I have to wonder a lot of times exactly what he’s trying to convey since angry gibberish probably really takes away from that.

    Again it hits home on the type of medium being used, an e-mail is around forever and could easily boomerang back with bad consequences. It’s good advice for anyone in these areas to tread carefully, text for example comes across as flat and even something that wasn’t intended to be interpreted a certain way could be seen with or without emotions attached to it. Good read Georgianna, thanks!

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