If you have ever had a SLR camera, you probably bought a filter for the lens so the skies would be bluer and the contrast would make for more striking pictures. In a recent hiking trip in the Sierra Nevada, we had a really fine polarizing filter that enhanced the magnificence of the 13,000 foot peaks, the silver lakes with sparkling whitecaps blown up by the soft breeze and the little clouds floating through the sky.

We ourselves, see the world through the lenses we put on, probably in childhood.Those filters are not as likely to enhance our view of the people and scenes around us as my polarizing filter. Why is that? My filters are judgmental and protective and defensive. When I am very tense, I am scanning for danger, wary or defensive.

On a good day, I will be aware that I am getting tense, and I will analyze what is happening inside my head. In other words, I will be having an internal dialogue with myself while continuing the outer conversation. I will recognize my own thoughts and beliefs that are operating so quickly inside me. I can acknowledge, change my behavior, respond differently, and perhaps achieve a better outcome.

On a more typical day, I may never notice my contribution to the situation and I wonder why I am not getting the result I want from my team.

In the next post, I will talk about the internal conversation.


Photo Credit Salvidor Dali: Willy Rizzo