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  • Writer's pictureShandy Welch

How Judgment May Backfire on You


The concept of Positive Intelligence is to not only become aware of our behaviors if left unattended but also to develop mental muscle to interrupt disruptive thoughts and actions and replace them with perspectives and “mental muscle” to shift our mindset from saboteur to sage.

This shift is extremely powerful and has been shown to dramatically improve performance, sales, creativity, relationships, and overall happiness. Seems like a pretty decent ROI!

Today we are tackling the JUDGE! The judge is considered the universal saboteur which means we all have it within us so nobody is spared! The judge has three components:

  • Judging yourself

  • Judging other

  • Judging the circumstance

You might do a bit of all of them but most people tend to be heavier on one than the other. There is no right or wrong, just an opportunity to develop insight into the lens through which we see our world.

For example, you have the perfect job interview and were ten minutes late because of the rain, despite a great interview you did not get the job.

Your initial gut response might be:

  • Judging yourself: “I am such a loser, I am clearly not smart enough and do not have the education that is needed to succeed, not surprising I failed.” This perspective creates feelings of low self-worth and inadequacy.

  • Judging others: “Clearly the interviewer is inept and this company has no clue as to how good I am, thank goodness I am not working there, they are not worth my time.” This creates feelings of superiority and arrogance.

  • Judging the circumstance: “This business is in such a confusing location, if only there was not so much traffic and the rain was not pouring down I would have gotten the job.” This thought allows you to avoid responsibility or careful preparation and humble acknowledgment of poor planning.

This is easy and tempting to do if you want to get out of responsibility or cut corners a bit. Blame another or cast judgment as a way of redirecting focus.

Get it? In other words, instead of taking a non-judgemental approach and owning your part in the situation, sitting with the vulnerability, disappointment, or fear, you deflect and blame others as not to cast a light on yourself.

A non-judgemental reflection would look like this: ”What a great opportunity I just had to interface with this organization. I am grateful for getting the interview and will follow up with the recruiter as to how I might position myself more effectively. Next time I will allow for more travel time and arrive 15 minutes early.”

One more example, our dog ran through his electric fence since his collar was not on. While it was my husband’s responsibility to put it on prior to letting him out, he forgot. I later saw the dog on the deck and the collar on the bench however, did not take the extra step to put it on. Twenty minutes later our dog was gone. My first thought was a judgment of my husband, “you didn’t put the collar on when you let him out” (judging others) But… isn’t that just a convenient way to refocus since I saw the collar and am perfectly capable of putting it on?

We are all human, we all err, so why do we jump to blame and judgment as opposed to taking a breath and assuming responsibility without judgment towards others?

Shifting this mindset is very powerful, not only for yourself but for the people around you. Blame and judgment create tension and leads to toxic relationships.

Take a breath and before you judge, ask yourself, “what is at the root of my judgment?” and “How does this perspective serve myself or others?” Does it raise you up? Does it show empathy and compassion for others? Will it help build your relationship?

Is it worth it and at what cost?

My Challenge To You:

  • Try for the next five days to become intensely aware of your judgemental thoughts. How often do they show up and what is the intention behind it? Awareness is 80% of the game.

  • Once you identify the thought, STOP, literally take 3 deep breaths, and reevaluate your words to yourself or others. Gentle your stance and decide if your words reflect who you really want to be.

  • Take the free saboteur test, this is an incredible way to develop personal insight but also gives context and clarity to other’s behaviors. This is a game-changer!

  • This is transformational if you choose to incorporate it into your life. I would love to talk to you about going deeper with Positive Intelligence either personally or with your team. If you are ready, email me, and let's talk.

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