I have to admit that I judge all the time. I judge the person that is checking their phone, while I’m talking with them, because I want to be listened to. I judge my loved ones, because I want them to be happy. I judge my friend who cancels a dinner date last minute, because she is not the reliable friend that I want her to be. I judge myself for judging, for having a bad hair day or for being distracted and unproductive, because I’m not the superwoman I think I should be. We all judge others and ourselves about what we think is right or wrong, good or bad; it is a human tendency to do so.
Only a short time ago, our basic survival as humans was depending on our judgment of people, animals and the situations we found ourselves in. We still react to others’ moods and behaviors. When I used to have co-workers, we gave each other a heads up when we were having an “off “ day, so the other knew to stay out of sight until we gave the “all okay” sign. Our reactions to each other were manageable that way. We judge and react, because instinctively we want to be safe and secure. Needless to say that when I hear someone say: “Be more non-judgmental”, I think about how challenging that is.
Our judgments separate us from each other and the experiences we have with other human beings only to cause conflict. Yet in my work with people in conflict, whether it is coaching or mediation, I have found that the capacity to move beyond judgment is an essential skill. Why? Because trust and a greater openness towards each other can grow quickly, when we feel we are not being judged.
One of the operating principles of The Jump Movement program, with which I am recently involved in, is the concept of “postponing judgment”. I love that concept, given our human tendency to judge. We stay connected and curious about the other’s perspective and we have an authentic connection when we are able to suspend our judgment of the other person we are in conflict with.
I will still judge, because I am human and I promised myself to postpone it for the moment; who knows what is going on for the other….I certainly don’t.
This article draws upon one of the core concepts of Jump Movement as well as the book “Everything is Workable” by Diane Musho Hamilton.