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  • Writer's pictureShandy Welch

"Judgment” Which Path to Take.

I just returned from teaching at my local high school’s Advanced Leadership class.  It is fun to see young adults begin to ask the questions that so many of us struggle with later in life.  I came away thinking about the concept of “judgment”.  Many of their questions had some disguise of judgment rooted at their core.  “What will people think of me?” “Why did she do that?” “Because of the pandemic … ”  Judgment is subtle but pervasive and robs you of curiosity, innovation, and empathy.

Judgment arrests thought at its inception.  It creates excuses so we do not work harder or think differently.

In Positive Intelligence (PI), the “judge” is considered the tenth and Universal Saboteur and is broken down into three areas:

  • The judgment of ourselves

  • The judgment of others

  • The judgment of circumstances.

Which one of these most resonates with you?  Typically, we connect with one more deeply than another.  The judge is seen as the root of unhappiness and anxiety.  Imagine what it would feel like to have a day without personal or external judgment.  

Judgment is so prevalent that it is not rated on the PI assessment.  It is assumed to be present in all of us to some degree or another.  How it shows up and the effect it has is most interesting.

Judgment is typically unconscious and works wonders on our brains.  So, how does one rid oneself of the judge?

My advice is mindfulness.  Become acutely aware of when judgment shows up and how you use it to serve yourself or others.  Jugment many times gives you permission to do what you otherwise wouldn’t.  

Judgment takes integrity and independence out of thought.

Pay attention to your thinking.  How many of your responses or beliefs are rooted in a personal assumption or judgment?  Judgment is normal and to be expected.  It can serve as a springboard for discussion and curiosity but also may limit our relationships and innovation if unchecked.

I don’t think it has as much to do with having judgment but more with what you choose to do with that judgment.  How do you change your perspective based on the belief you have formed, a belief often rooted in fear, stories, and assumptions?  

Mindfulness and curiosity are the great oppressors of the judge.  

My Challenge to You:

  • Become curious yet gentle with yourself.  Slow down and create time to ask yourself, “Is this thought rooted in truth or motivated by fear?”

  • How is judgment serving you, and what are the ripple effects? 

  • Am I assuming best intent?

  • Am I holding on to the past?

  • Am I protecting myself with a story?

  • Often one assumes we need to come to a discussion with a preformed outcome or stance; what would it feel like to approach a discussion with curiosity, no end or conclusion in mind other than to explore an idea and learn?

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