Understanding Filters in Communication

Understanding Filters in Communication

Communicationby Keely Tanner

Good communication is an important aspect in our everyday lives. Developing good communication skills can be a pain. Communication for some just comes naturally. And then there are some who struggle with it all their lives.  Is it a skill that should be worked at and intentionally developed?  Absolutely!
How often have we had conversations with someone and what we have said was taken wrong? Or many times has someone completely misinterpret the point of our conversations? This happens to all of us. Everyone communicates differently and we all can improve.
In the book “Fighting for Your Marriage” authors Howard J. Markman,  Scott M. Stanley, and Susan L. Blumberg share five filters in communication.

  1. Distractions: Stress and business makes it harder to focus. When communicating put things away that make it hard to focus on the conversation.
  2. Emotional States: Moods are powerful filters.  Communicating while in a bad mood  tends to make any dialogue negative. Making a conscious effort to understand the moods of the communicators gives us better idea of why they are acting or responding the way they are.
  3. Beliefs and Expectations: When we are expecting someone to be negative, what they say will always seem more negative than it already is, even if it is not their intent to be negative!
  4. Different in Style: There are different styles of talking that people use. Discover the style of your partner so you can understand the way they communicate.
  5. Self-Protection: We often hide what we think because it directly speaks and reveals who we are and we can be rejected by what we say. There are times when we say things because we don’t want to be judged by our answers or actions. We need to be aware of this.

Understanding the five filters of communication will hopefully help us develop filter awareness. Everyone is influenced by them. These filters are not intrinsically good or bad.   The conversations that we have will become more meaningful. Our relationships with those with whom we communicate will become stronger.  We will also have a better understanding of those with whom we communicate.

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