You know that good friends have great advice or suggestions for us. I was having a conversation with one of my clients (a Sr Executive VP) and she was complaining about how judgmental we have all become…not giving people a chance to actually be who they are. Not listening. Judging clothes; walk; accent; age; gender all before anything substantial is shared or conveyed.
She wanted to apologize to me about a meeting in which she judged before she listened. What she actually wanted was to discuss it because she wanted to resolve her behavior “against” the other person. She said she:
- Thought their outfit was mismatched
- She did two or three eye rolls while they spoke
- Their hair needed some color and a cut
- Her throat was filled with snickers she hoped had not been heard
She was ashamed and embarrassed that she was quite rude.
I pointed out to her that I was glad she felt that way because it meant she still had all her “good manners” – guilt and awareness can be quite humbling.
We discussed what to do and how to feel better. We came to a lovely conclusion that met her values and would solve, she hoped, the guilt she felt and to reassure herself that she had not become one of the “mean” girls.
When we judge others so negatively, it can be connected to:
- Protecting ourselves
- Needing to be right
- Expressing our own frustrations that have not been solved
- Getting someone else because you felt you had been hurt yourself
After my conversation with my coaching client, it reminded me of a world famous “disc” that happened in 2009 with Susan Boyle audition on Britain’s Got Talent.
Susan came out on stage and was immediately judged as awkward; too old; badly dressed; bad hair and socially out of tune.
You could see the eye rolls, the embarrassed looks of the audience, the “oh God” from the judges and basically this next audition is a waste our time. “Let’s get this audition over” was written all over their faces and body language.
Susan Boyle BLEW UP the stage and the audience with her talent. Here is the link her audition from 2009. Watch the whole thing from beginning to end and see if you see your judging self in any of it.
I cannot think of a more stark example of how we judge before we know.
And don’t forget you judge yourself this harshly also.
Deep breath everyone. The world is tough enough without our immediate negative, unrealistic thoughts about what others need to provide to us to be grand and talented.
Be reminded of your kind and curious self. The world will be different if you take a moment to allow the good to show up.
To Your Success,
P.S. Our NMA speaking and keynoting schedule is filling up fast for Fall 2017. If you would like me to come speak at your conference; organization; with your team or your association event, please visit here and see what we have done and how we can make your next event especially valuable, inspiring and with immediately usable tips, techniques and strategies for you and your attendees. Send us a note and see if we have your date open. I WOULD LOVE TO COME and share the tidbits that will rock your effectiveness, leadership, communication and behavioral performance.