Communication Filters

Shelley writes We Be Three: Intellect, Spirit, and Heart in which she suggests a new model for understanding the way people communicate (especially in writing) – which filter are they using, Intellect, Spirit, or Heart. She exemplifies each style as:

bq. Intellect: I think.

Spirit: I believe.

Heart: I feel.

All of these are at a meta-level to the primary experience – indeed in a comment to Shelley’s post Tom Graves adds reference to the physical layer “I act”.

Shelley writes eloquently about the effects of matching and mismatching these filtering styles, she also notes her own incongruence signal:

bq. However, it doesn’t take much for me to begin feeling out of place, even inferior, and these feelings are signs that I need to re-focus my energy on my strengths, rather than expend it in arenas that just don’t work for me. This is the most important lesson I’ve learned, and I’m still learning it. Self-doubt is your mind’s way of telling you to change your environment.

This is a fresh (to me) way of looking at habitual ways of expressing oneself, but I wonder if the preferred filters are as immutable as Shelley suggests? Surely it is possible to install an ability to operate in any of these models? What are the characteristic values and beliefs held by a person who prefers to operate in each mode? What self-awareness does a person hold in each mode? if it were a conversation, how would they express each mode in their posture?

Since this post is written in the “intellect” filter, let me answer those questions for myself as I write….

Values: ideas, dialogue, debate

Beliefs: other’s views are important as they shed light in ideas, ideas develop through conversation,

Body awareness: almost entirely in the head – lots of visual thinking.

If it was a conversation I can imagine talking very quickly, with an amount of gesturing, then pausing to hear the other person, we’d probably interrupt each other a lot to keep up with the idea flow…

Any people with preferences for the other styles care to comment?

Julian Elve
Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change

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