Can You Pass The Triple Filter Test?
A scholar in ancient Baghdad was said to be unusually wise. One day an acquaintance met the great scholar and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"
"Wait," the scholar replied. "Before you continue, let me ask a question. Is what you are about to tell me the truth?"
"I don't know," the man said.
"All right," said the scholar. "You don't know if it's true. Let me ask another question. Is what you are about to tell me good?"
"No, it isn't!" the man replied.
"Then allow me to ask a third question. Is what you are about to tell useful to me?" asked the scholar.
"No, it is not useful," said the man.
Then the scholar said, "If it may not be true, if it is not good and it is not useful, then why do you want to tell me at all?"
Does your news pass the triple filter test? Ask yourself these questions before you speak: Is what I am about to say the truth? Is it good? And is it useful? If you can answer yes to only two of these questions, be careful about what you pass along. But if what you are about to tell passes all three filters, then it should be told!
My friend Bob Burg has a different approach. "Play the 'Reverse Gossip' Game," he says. "See how many nice things you can say behind someone's back." Sounds like a game that everyone wins.