Our brain is assaulted by over 11million bps (bits per second) of information, but it can only process a tiny fraction of that – 126 bps to be precise. So how do you decide which bits are worthy of attention? That’s the role of your filters. If you didn’t have filters, you would go into total overwhelm because of the differential between the volume of information that is coming at you, and the amount you can actually process.
You may be wondering what this has to do with your Professional Relationships … and the answer is that your ability to understand your own filters, and the filters other people use will dramatically affect your professional relationships and, therefore, your professional success.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) has a very clear and effective model that demonstrates how this works:
We interpret the external world through our five senses – through sight, touch, sound, smell, and taste. Then your unconscious mind takes over. It filters them through your memories, your beliefs about who you are, your values and morals that you have accepted from your parents or the surrounding culture, your language and whatever other filters you have in place, so that it can select the 126 bits that are relevant to you and group them in chunks of seven to nine pieces of information and make sense of them.
Therefore, your interpretation of those eleven million bits of information is going to be unique – completely different to any other person’s interpretation of the same information – and it will happen instantaneously and unconsciously.