There are people around you wearing filters.
When you speak or act, it goes through their filter and they receive it garbled.
It wasn’t what you meant, but they’re going to blame you regardless.
Some of them have a need to have ‘bad’ guys in their lives. People to blame. Chaos.
Generally, these aren’t the types of people who will approach you to sort out the communication.
That’s a mature exchange that requires a willingness to be vulnerable and to admit to mistakes and misplaced motivations. Which certainly isn’t easy.
Often, they’re ones that will complain about you behind your back. Spreading a toxic view.
You can waste a lot of time and energy trying to get these people to see you for who you are.
When it’s unlikely to happen.
Let me give you a common workplace example. It’s so easy to get sucked into this. When you don’t see it for what it is, you’ll try the wrong things to remedy it.
If you’re a leader, you need to understand this kind of dynamic because it derails your best people.
A filter-type person will look at someone who is doing a good job, is engaged, and has integrity and a strong work effort and think, ‘that person is trying to make the rest of us look bad.’
I know this may sound strange to many of you. Maybe unbelievable. Because your brain doesn’t work like that.
But it’s surprisingly common.
People make assumptions about what motivates your behavior that aren’t true. You’re not doing a good job to make others look bad, but because that’s how you’re wired.
This is a big source of bullying and politics. You need to understand that this kind of filter-thinking exists and that the person isn’t particularly motivated to see you any other way. Making another the bad guy protects them from having to take responsibility for their actions and feelings.
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