NOTE: Alison Anthony’s CEO Corner first appeared in TAUW’s monthly newsletter, United Monthly. Subscribe by clicking here!
By Alison Anthony
TAUW President and CEO
As I prepared for our final executive board meeting of the year, I remembered and looked up the triple filter test, sometimes called the three gates, attributed to Socrates from over 2,400 years ago. (At this moment, I can hear my younger sisters telling me that it’s ok to be a little nerdy but that I shouldn’t wallow around in it! Fair point. Besides, Socrates probably heard it from his mom who was a midwife, but women didn’t get a lot of credit for Ancient Greece philosophy, but I digress.)
Known for asking question after clarifying question rather than directly conveying knowledge to help his students arrive at their own understanding, Socrates urged his students to ask three questions to improve the impact and quality of communication.
Before I say something, do I know if it is:
- Kind or Good, or can it be said with kindness
- Necessary or Useful
In the new year, I’m going to work hard to run my comments and communication through these three gates. And as I hear and read the news, listen to colleagues, or see commentary on social media, I’ll run those through these filters too. If we all do that, our communication will be stronger, kinder, and more constructive – and that means good things for our community.
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