What Filters Are You Wearing Today?

What Filters Are You Wearing Today? In Blackboard Fridays Episode 75, Jacob talks about Leadership. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.

No two people see the world the same way. In business, this creates some wild and confusing situations – have you ever given instructions to a team member, only for them to do the complete opposite to what you asked?

Every business owner needs to learn a few vital communication skills, and for me this is one of the most important: it’s appreciating the Filters that impact how we, and everybody else, see the world.

The measure of your communication is not what you say, but rather what the other person hears. So if they’re not hearing what you’re saying … then the responsibility is entirely on you to understand their Filters and communicate better.

Start by watching this week’s episode here, and thinking about how these 4 Filters apply to how you see the world.

Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?

“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.

Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.

At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.

You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.

That’s me.

Learn more here. Or Let’s chat.


For this week’s episode of Blackboard Friday’s, I’m wearing sunglasses. In fact, I wear sunglasses for every episode of Blackboard Fridays. And indeed, for every interaction I have with the world and so do you. By sunglasses I’m talking about the filters. The filters through which we perceive the world around us. And part of the challenge of being a human in relationship with others is that we all wear different pairs of sunglasses, we all have different filters through which we perceive the world.

Indeed no two people view the world the same. This creates enormous confusion and frustration and stress in relationship in business because just because something is really apparent to you, does not mean it’s really apparent to somebody else. What you say can be heard completely differently and what somebody else says to you, might be interpreted by you as something they completely didn’t mean.

Let’s unpack the 4 layers of filters to at the very least help you to identify which pairs of sunglasses you have on and maybe every now and then, take them off or adjust to see the world maybe in a slightly different way. These range from the most conscious filters we have to the least conscious. And the most conscious we have our experiences.

So let’s say…money. We have an experience in business that making money is hard. We’ve been in business for 5 years, 8 years, and we’ve never really got into that relaxed stage where revenue, profit, cash is simple and straightforward so our experience of business is that we have to work hard to make money.

The next layer out at a deeper fundamental level is our beliefs. So maybe at this point, you’ve actually built a belief in yourself that money is hard to get. Deeper still are your values, those things that you hold very, very dear. And for a lot of people around money, they actually have a value which links into the belief that money is not important, that perhaps, money is the root of all evil.

Money doesn’t grow on trees and money is hard. And so we don’t actually value money at a fundamental level. We think that people with money are crooks and the people without money are noble. We completely disvalue fundamental money.

And at the deepest layer, the least conscious filter that we all apply to what’s known as the Fundamental Operating Context or the FOC… Now, this is the operating system that was built into you between the ages of naught and 7. This is some of the most deep-seated aspects for how you see the world and a lot of it comes from our parents.

It is indeed true that your parents “FOC” you up. They set the pattern for which everything else builds upon. If you as a small child live with parents who told you that money was the root of all evil, who told you that money was hard to come by, who told you that money was bad or then you’d never be worth anything then at a fundamental level you may be operating through the filter that you’ll never be financially successful.

What that could mean is that out there in the world, there might be this amazing opportunity that presents itself that has dollar signs written all over it literally or metaphorically. But for us to perceive it, it needs to go through all of our filters, it needs to go through that fundamental operating context that “I’ll never be successful.”

It needs to go through those values that “Money is for crooks.” It needs to go through the beliefs that “Earning money is hard.” And it needs to go through our experience that in this business, money just doesn’t show up. So by the time it actually reaches us, instead of having all of these big dollar signs on it, it’s got little ones or maybe it’s got an empty wallet or it just looks like hard work, criminal activity.

Now, somebody similar to you, in your situation but with a different experience, a different set of filters can see exactly the same opportunity and interpret it wildly differently. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to the filters. Just because they’re seeing big dollar signs, doesn’t mean the world is actually putting out big dollar signs to them. They may have beliefs that money is easy. That all I need to do is trip over and it shows up. They may be correct or incorrect but that is how they are seeing the world.

Then you create this situation in conversation. This could be you and a business partner reviewing an opportunity together through your filters it doesn’t look like it’s worth the hard work through their filters it’s a complete no-brainer we should jump at it. And so we have a back and forth conversation. We get frustrated.

We can’t understand what the other person is saying because invariably, we talk just about what we see. We don’t talk about our filters. We don’t talk about our experiences, our beliefs, our values. We don’t do the work on our own self to unpack that Fundamental Operating Context and maybe make some changes to the operating system through which we see the world.

If we don’t do that, if we don’t talk about our filters, we just talk through our filters then we will create ongoing frustration, ongoing misalignment and ultimately, we can create a world that validates what we believe, that tells us we were right but doesn’t make us happy doesn’t allow us to actually seize the opportunities that are out there. What filters are you running in your world?

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