5 Things Successful Leaders Judge

Judging feels awkward, mostly because we don’t like being judged. But, leaders who don’t judge follow the path of least resistance.

To neglect judging is to embrace mediocrity.

You judge all the time. Right now you’re judging this article. Is it worth reading? Will it help me develop my leadership? Is this guy nuts?

worried dog

People want to be judged when it results in praise, growth, or advancement. “How am I doing?” is an invitation to be judged.

You can’t lead without judging.

5 things leaders judge:

#1. Results:

  1. What was the goal?
  2. What are the real results?
  3. What behavior was essential to achieving results? (Identify one.)

#2. Attitudes:

  1. What are your first words when something goes wrong?
  2. Who complains all the time?
  3. What is your orientation to challenges, obstacles, or opposition?

#3. Interactions:

  1. How do people feel when they’re around you?
  2. How did you energize or drain the people you worked with?
  3. How are you encouraging others to take next steps?

#4. Inclusions:

  1. Who did you include in your project? Why?
  2. Who should have been included? Why?
  3. Who made surprising contributions? What did they do?

#5. Learning:

  1. What are you learning about yourself, leading, and others?
  2. What will you avoid next time?
  3. How can new insights be applied to current or future activities?

Judging as condemning:

To judge something as inadequate is to condemn it. If denouncing isn’t possible, don’t bother making evaluations.

Condemnation is the first step toward transformation. Aspirations to improve point to current deficiencies.

The verbal gymnastics we use to avoid condemning poor behavior obscures the truth and slows progress.

Useful judging:

Judging becomes useful when it moves from backward-facing condemnation to forward-facing transformation.

Judging isn’t useful when it ends with condemnation or self-confirmation.

What makes judging useful?

How does judging go wrong?

*This is the “J” installment in the Dictionary for Leaders series. Here are “J’s” for leaders suggested by Facebook Fans. Stay tuned for “K.”