How to Effectively Filter Information

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How do you as a supervisor filter information?

Part of your job is to filter information between management and the front line. It is one of the challenging parts of being a leader, but it also is a key part of your job. If you do it really well, you will make sure that the right messages are getting transmitted down to the floor, but also back up to management.

Part of your job as a supervisor is to filter information. Let's explore how to do that effectively. Share on X

Let us explore three specific scenarios with filtering:

1. Under-filtering

When you are under-filtering, it means that you pass the information in its raw state, in either direction. You take a management directive, and you say it like it is to your team. And in a way that is helpful, but sometimes your team is not ready to hear it in the harshest and most direct way. Technically you have caused your team to resist the message by under-filtering it.

The same thing goes back the other way. Maybe your team is complaining about something or giving feedback, and if you pass it along unfiltered back to management, they are just going to get ticked off and they will put their guard up and get defensive about receiving the information.

2. Over-filtering

Over-filtering is when you screen out so much of the message that it loses its impact. When you are over-filtering, management has a message, and you just give the bare bones to your team. They will not fully understand the message.

If you over-filter employee messages back to management, management really does not understand how the floor thinks and feels about an initiative that they have asked you to communicate down, so management is in the dark. Do not over-filter a situation.

3. Goldilocks

Goldilocks is effective filtering. It is when you use your judgment as a leader, and you think about how to best communicate a message so that its intent is clear. Be specific enough that people can clearly understand the message but leave out anything inappropriate.

If you become a master at filtering using the Goldilocks scenario, you will be able to perform your job as a front line leader effectively. Once you have mastered this, you can work on your other leadership skills through our Front Line Leadership program.

No matter how you digest and take in all this leadership information, remember it is all geared to help you be an awesome leader so that you can attract and retain the talented employees that you need for today’s success and your long-term success in your organization.