THIS WEEK’S FOCUS:
Noticing what we filter and why
I think it was Peter Senge who coined the phrase “the ladder of inference” which looks at how we make meaning of things and therefore respond the way we do. Briefly, the rungs of this ladder work like this: first, we are presented with pure data, the full picture of what we see or hear or smell etc.; we then filter this data in a way that gives us meaning; now that we have meaning, we are able to make assumptions, test these against our beliefs, come to a conclusion and act on it – normally, all in a moment.
One of the reasons I find this intriguing is the enormity of possibilities that can arise at each rung. Whilst the data that is presented to us, is exactly the same, once we start filtering what we are seeing or hearing, the meaning we might make of the data is likely to be different to the person next to us hearing or seeing the exact same data. This difference then becomes accentuated at each of the rungs.
With this in mind, there is something that always surprises me: the extent to which I expect others to agree with me! Strange, isn’t it! What’s reassuring is that I am not alone!
So, this week, notice what you are filtering and why – and at the same time consider the people around you going through the same process, only differently! Be curious about the impact that this level of consciousness has on your own thinking! What changes for you?
Monday Morning Perspective: “If you write a bunch of different characters with a bunch of different opinions, you end up with these long scenes of everyone standing around talking.” – Michael Arndt