This filter, sometimes called the ‘Frame of Reference’ filter, is particularly important in the giving and receiving of feedback.
This filter is one of those with the most significant consequences when we encounter someone at one extreme or the other. It defines what we consider when we make decisions and will be very influential on our approach to performance management, coaching, and feedback in general.
Anyone who operates at the Internal end will set their own goals based on their own assessment of the criteria for success and will be certain of their achievement (or not) against those parameters. At the other end, someone with a very strong External preference will need the data from a credible outside source for it to be meaningful.
Both filters have advantages and disadvantages:
|Healthy Upsides||• Self-confident and self-reliant|
• Able to work without routine external feedback
• May be able to remain emotionally detached
• Comfortable with challenge
|• May show high empathy and understanding
• Able to build and maintain rapport
• Seen as flexible in approach
• Can readily see another person’s point of view
• Becomes highly adaptable to changing needs
|Downsides of Extreme Preference||• Supreme arrogance|
• Oblivious to feedback
• May miss signs of customer or partner unease
• Can appear cold or uncaring
|• Lose sense of “self”
• Drop in self-esteem or worth
• Unable to meet potentially conflicting requirements
• Subservient - Agrees to all the other party’s requirements at the expense of their own
• People may doubt their integrity
In the context of coaching, it is easy to see how our approach would have to be different when dealing with the two extreme preferences. This is also true in team engagement where some members may want feedback or reassurance every day whereas others will be reliant on their own assessment of progress.