5 Ways Judgmental Leaders Move Forward by Withholding Judgement
Enter every interaction as a learner, even when you plan to teach. One difference between confidence and arrogance is an open mind.
Bring what you know, after exploring what you don’t.
The only hope for know-it-alls is to become learn-it-alls.
4 marks of know-it-all leaders:
- Impatient with ‘ignorant’ people. Successful leaders are impatient concerning results, and forbearing with people who aspire to grow.
- Quick judgements. Withholding judgement assumes there’s more to know.
Leading questions. Know-it-alls can’t ask open ended questions. When was the last time you asked, “What do you think?” and listened deeply to the response?
- Passion for growth in others, not in themselves. There’s no room for personal growth when you already know.
Many of us have an astonishing capacity to know, even when we don’t. Congratulations if you’ve come to the place that you know you don’t know. Here are five suggestions for those of use who wrestle with knowing too much.
5 ways judgmental leaders withhold judgement:
The only way to innovate – at least at the beginning – is to withhold judgement.
- Develop several options before making choices. Learn-it-alls know there are many answers to most challenges. The magic number is four. Know-it-alls think there’s one answer.
- Stay curious even when you think you know. Stagnant leaders are habitual knowers, rather than curious learners.
- Gag your inner judge.
- Notice quick judgments.
- Take a breath.
- Lean back.
- Say, “Tell me more.”
- Stop talking. Know-it-alls talk too much.
- Say ‘and’. Avoid ‘but’.
- Go ‘with’ before going ‘against’. Explore and explain how someone else’s approach might work.
Learn-it-all leaders listen, connect, adapt, and innovate. But feeling superior causes frustration, isolation, manipulation, and stagnation.
How might leaders deal with tendencies to judge quickly?
When is judging quickly a good thing? A bad thing?
Great ideas. When I’m convinced I am right, it is hard to ask for four other options. When I’m sure of the path forward, it is challenging to go on a detour. However, it is through the options that I learn and grow. The more options we think about the greater the synergy and a road less traveled is often more fun. Thanks for the challenging post.
Thanks McSteve. My problem is I’m usually convinced I’m right. After all, the opinion I have is the right one. I wouldn’t hold to an opinion that wasn’t right. Who does that? 🙂
The more we deal with customers, the more you understand options, “everybody wants them”! So you think they do, other times they just want a plain answer, sometimes better to offer only what is requested as well.
Being judgemental can ruin your customer relationship, and any other relationship if you chose to be judging, I have learned early on judging others should be left on the side of the road, accept them, embrace them for who they are, “not what you want them to be” in regards to people, the cover never shows the inside. The next “Einstein” may be in front of you and you may have never seen it being judgemental!
Thanks Tim. If you want to generate options, listen to customers. That sentence exploded in my head.
I like the idea of 4 options which I have not heard before. I find when I stop judging and become open, I am in the moment, able to really listen to others with a focus on them and great questions surface for me to ask so I can gain greater understanding of their ideas and perspectives – magic in the moment which I attribute to curiosity. Thanks for highlighting the shift from judging to being open, moving from limited thinking to possibility, so necessary for understanding and innovation.
Thanks Kathy. Wow…I hadn’t thought about how knowing the answer takes me out of the moment. So helpful.
Tough as it is, listening is a skill that requires practice and mastery. I’m not a big fan of Covey’s, but his “Seek to understand before being understood” is clearly one way to master listening.
Thanks Jim. Practice takes commitment, discipline, and feedback. A few years ago, I asked my wife how I was doing with my listening. I thought I was doing pretty good. She said that I could be better. We can overestimate ourselves. Ouch!
No comment. LOL
When is judging quickly a good thing?
When you all say “I’m uneasy about this, let’s take some time”
A bad thing?
When you all say “This is easy, nothing can go wrong”.
Maybe “Five Whys?” is a bit of a cliche, but there’s value in it. Equally, and in my experience often even more useful is five “Why nots”. If I find myself jumping to my own knowledge when somebody else has made a suggestion, I ask myself if I can give five reasons why NOT to give it a go. And “Just because!” is not a valid one.
Thanks Mitch. Your comment made me smile. Learn to be uncomfortable when you feel comfortable. 🙂