Whether we want to accept it or not, we all operate with several filters. When someone at work says something, there’s a filter right there telling you to what extent you should believe what you are hearing. When you read a book from a known author, there is a filter there providing a bias about the quality of the book. The impact a message has on you varies based not only on the message but also on the source of the message. That’s the power of filters.
Filters can’t be avoided but their existence should not be ignored. Just being aware of your own filters will help you and may be alert you when you are getting carried away by a set of filters.
One place where filters will hurt is when someone is pitching you an idea and your filters are not letting you “hear” the idea in its entirety. The filter you have on the messenger may garble the message to such an extent that it will serve no one. Even if the idea is brilliant, the past associated with the person bringing the idea may make it hard for you to give it due consideration.
So one simple approach can be that every now and then drop your filters when you listen to a new idea or a concept. Or, mentally assign the source of this idea to someone that you trust a lot. Who knows – you might be pleasantly surprised!
Note: I am not saying that you should not have filters or filters are bad. Without them you may have to spend a lot of time analyzing every piece of information that comes in front of you. But if you are carried away by them, you might miss something and you might not even know that you missed something.