Recognizing when we are being judgmental in personal and business conversations is important because judging is based on our internal information instead of what the other person in the conversation is saying. When we “judge the other”, we cannot meet the other person’s needs or hear what is being said. Instead, we are listening to our own self- talk based on our opinions, beliefs, assumptions, and past thinking. Therefore, being judgmental is not being present in the conversation. And, a great skill for having masterful conversations is recognizing our own judgmental tendencies.
Listening is cited among the top attributes of successful business leaders. Listening, reflecting on what is being said, and discerning meaning behind employee stories, the “real” or base-line issues, requires leaders to inquire, to ask questions which cause an employee to stop and think.
Successful business leaders know the difference between inquiry and leading questions. Leaders may have opinions about an employee’s story and probable course of action and may be tempted to ask questions which lead to their predetermined conclusion. Successful leaders, however, realize the importance of employees’ finding their own truths, so employees will embrace the outcomes of their actions.
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a creativity coach, musician, writer, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.