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Filter or No Filter?

I had the wonderful opportunity this week to spend time with a local university's Business Communications Class. I was in the 'hot seat' as they had the opportunity to ask me questions about careers, workplace communication, interviewing and more.

One question that came up was with regards to more or less filtering our communication- so telling it like it is - or being professional and somewhat 'filtering' what we say in the workplace.

Gosh, I thought- what an interesting question! Because no two of us in the workplace have the exact same path that got us to where we are today (birth, home town, elementary school, high school, trades and/or college coursework/degrees, first job, second job, family size, family origin, etc.), it's no wonder that differences in thought and communication abound. And, what a wonderful thing that can be!

The trick, however, is 2 things:

  • Respect

  • Curiosity

I consider myself to be a continuous learner and by no means do I have all the answers. (Even as a coach I have a coach!) However, what I have seen and experienced in my 25+ years in HR, as a recruiter, as a consultant and a career coach is just that: no matter how sticky a workplace situation is, if two people have a mindset and attitude of respect and curiosity, most workplace communication and challenges can be resolved in time and perhaps with a bit of patience, too.

So, the next time you have a hard conversation at work, a challenging co-worker, boss, peer, client, customer or patient, ask yourself this: How can I communicate the issue respectfully and with a mindset of curiosity to learn more?

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