10 Ways to Discern Rather than Condemn

Foolish leaders believe pointing out what went wrong inspires people to do better.

You can’t condemn and inspire at the same time.

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Discerning leaders hunt for things that are going right. Condemning leaders point out what went wrong.

Condemning leaders:

  1. Fixate on mistakes.
  2. Focus on shortcoming.
  3. Concentrate on failure.
  4. Obsess over faults.

The lowest form of leadership is pointing out faults after things go wrong.

4 results of condemning leadership:

  1. Dis-empowered teammates.
  2. Self-protective attitudes.
  3. Fear of failure..
  4. Low energy environments.

Fault-finding is the easy side of discernment. It doesn’t take much to explain what should have been done.

Discerning leaders search for excellence. Condemning leaders find fault.

The highest form of leadership is maximizing potential.

10 ways to be a discerning leader:

  1. Evaluate to find the good. Anyone can point out the bad.
  2. Analyze what works.
  3. Search for what is useful.
  4. Actively show approval of behaviors that matter.
  5. Search for useful behaviors to repeat.
  6. Seek positive tipping points. Discerning leaders dig into successes to uncover simple key factors that makes things work.
  7. Use purpose to highlight behaviors that matter.
  8. Make reaching goals easier. Ask your teams how you can help them succeed.
  9. Engage in behaviors and say words that increase energy in others.
  10. See the best in people.

Discerning leaders confront when:

  1. Shared values are violated, as long as those values are clearly known before hand.
  2. Behaviors fall short, as long as expectations were clear from the beginning.
  3. Goals aren’t reached, as long as people are equipped and qualified.

Discerning leaders maximize success by taking action before things go wrong. Condemning leaders set expectations after things go wrong.

How might leaders practice discernment on a daily basis?