How to Make Good Judgements and Not be Judgmental
Good judgement expands the future, but being judgmental:
- Wrecks relationships.
- Diminishes talent.
- De-motivates teammates.
- Disengages employees.
The difference between good judgement and being judgmental is assumption.
#1. Judgmental leaders make decisions based on negative assumptions.
Suppose John misses a deadline. Judgmental leaders instantly ‘know’ why he missed the deadline. He doesn’t respect others. He’s lazy. He only cares for himself. He can’t manage time.
False assumptions are imagined realities.
#2. Judgmental leaders interact with people based on assumptions, not realities.
I treat you with my assumptions about you in mind.
Negative assumptions sabotage relationships.
#3. Judgmental leaders hinder the growth-potential of everyone they judge.
Once you make an assumption, you find evidence to validate it. It’s difficult to bring out the best in someone when you assume the worst about them.
Assuming the worst brings out the worst.
It’s more difficult to let go of a decision than to make it in the first place.
- Replace negative assumption with positive regard. Think the best, not the worst, until proven otherwise.
- Try to prove positive assumptions, rather than validate negative.
- Extend compassion. Judging is merciless. Compassion toward weakness enables people to expand their strength.
- Respect talent. We’re all great at one or two things and suck at many.
- Stay curious in the face of skepticism.
- Commit to maintain a constructive vs. destructive orientation.
- Embrace a growth mindset.
5 questions for good judgment:
- What skills, strengths, and talents does this person demonstrate?
- How might this situation be an opportunity to strengthen relationship?
- What might you do to add value?
- What positive intentions might you put into action?
- What are you learning about the way you interact?
How might leaders over-come tendencies to make quick negative judgments?
A favorite quote from NLP comes to mind – not sure of the originator but it does seem to anchor into this framework:
“We judge ourselves by our intentions; we judge others by their behavior.”
Because of that, we seldom see ourselves in the light that others to, and we also tend to project our beliefs and biases onto others, like we find when we do a Rorschach Test of Thematic Apperception Test. We simply see things because of how we see things.
Conversation is one key. Reflection is another. Looking for positives (instead of negatives) is another.
May The Force be with you!
Part of being judgmental is coming to conclusions too soon. We must understand as many aspects of the situation as possible to make the best judgments. An increase of awareness equals an increase in the ability to make better decisions.
Another really great post. Thanks for your daily inspiration and tools to help all of us grow good leadership. A book I recently read that is helping me to see and improve my “judgmental self” is Leadership and Self Deception — Getting Out of the Box. As I see others as People just like me – with needs and faults — I can work to take a deep breath, do what I can to help the situation, and work for a positive outcome — helping me and others stay out of the box.
This comes in the most need situation as I use your leadership post and incorporate it with examen. Thank you.