Did you get exactly what you expected? It is likely that much of our cognitive behavior is the result of filtering expectations. What filters are you using? Does it help or just limit and hide the unwanted?
It may be debatable. The idea that we get what we look for and see what we want to see. People may argue profusely that they are not conditioning their reactions or data with their environment. Think twice.
Seeing Is Believing?
What do you expect about your workplace? What are the norms, the cultural climate, and the anticipated outcomes?
You have meetings, what are the expectations, how are you filtering what is presented and discussed?
You interview job candidates. They are heavily filtered. Often by assumed characteristics of backgrounds, stereotypes, and your expectations.
Sometimes you are surprised. Sometimes what you see is not what you get. The filters didn’t catch it, they didn’t self-identify, and now you have a different result.
Filters or Blinders?
We use filters all the time. We often filter our searches online. When we shop online, browse, study, read, and even to get caught up on the news.
Filters can become problematic. Not that we misread the results, but that they also serve as blinders.
Ignore it because it isn’t real. Look the other way because this data is easier to digest.
Deny the data, suggest it isn’t real because it doesn’t align with the path you wish to see.
Are you filtering expectations? Are you using life experiences to drive your vision to a path that aligns with the idea of your vision instead of a path that aligns with reality?
This may be creating false perceptions and self-deception.
We think we know what is in the box. However, we can’t see it, touch it, taste it, smell it, or hear it. Occasionally what is inside the box doesn’t match the picture on the outside.
This is true for your next meeting, the potential new hire, and choosing the most successful path.
Filters can be helpful, but sometimes they block something really great.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.