Foundational Principle #1: Forming a conscious filter

The following post is an excerpt from “Eve of Influence: Keys to unlocking exceptional leadership in women”. In this book, Leadership Zone Founder and Director Liz McCoy provides a practical guide to increasing leadership expertise and how to foster the development of compassionate, kind and connected workplaces. Eve of Influence is for the women who are fully committed to their leadership journey.  For women who are willing to go deep, and work on themselves for the betterment of those they influence and guide.  

In this post, Liz breaks down the importance of forming a conscious filter – one of the three foundational principles that sees us filter or compress information through our own learned and inherited views and beliefs of the world.    

If you would like to read the entire book, I invited you to download it here.


Despite remaining the most complex organism on the planet today, our brains are not geared to process the volume of information to which we are exposed on a daily basis. Yet, as individuals we process more information than ever before in human history.

Indeed, our world is awash with an unprecedented volume of data.

There are so many movies available on the internet today you would need 47 million years to watch them all. There are over 1.8 billion websites out there, with an average of 571 new ones created every minute!

Information overload is a very real (and somewhat concerning) challenge for us all. Information scientists indicate that we are exposed to 11 million bits of information per second; yet the processing capacity of a conscious human mind is that of 50 bits per second.

This bandwidth is the information-per-second absorption rate limit a human can pay conscious attention to at any one time.

It seems that a tremendous amount of data compression is taking place to reduce 11 million bits to 50 in order for us to make sense of it all.

How this compression looks in practice is illustrated by (NLP) theory which suggests that we subconsciously delete, distort or generalise the information we consume. This process allows us to make sense of the volume of data we consume, and reduce it into a sizeable amount for us to manage – and subsequently act on.

In this way, we naturally filter or compress information through our own learned and inherited views and beliefs of the world.

I grew up in a very multi-cultural area of Melbourne where, as a fifth-generation white Australian, I was often in the minority (especially when my first boyfriend was Yugoslavian). My learned filters are of inclusivity for all people. I know no other way. My belief today is that I am a global citizen and it makes perfect sense to sit at a table with wonderful people from all over the globe.

Another filter, that exists in us all, is our preference for the masculine (yang, or task orientation) or the feminine (yin, or relationship orientation). With advancing technology, neuroscientists can pinpoint the neural networks responsible for each of these inversely correlating brain functions. The task-positive network (TPN) and the default mentalising network (DMN) have been identified as the specific networks.

The purpose of me explaining all of this is quite simply, to bring to your awareness a focus on developing a stronger, more conscious filter for the yin (a more mature default mentalising network) in order to see reality from a range of perspectives, and enjoy the full rewards and benefits that thinking allows us.