Judge Less Talk More

Posted onCategoriesChange Readiness, Comfort zone

Isabel showed me the amazing results of Judging Less and Talking More. She often sees leaders who are new to her team approach her with a problem without getting to the point directly.  They try to ‘soften’ it up a bit, afraid of a bad consequence. Her approach? She will say, “Just say it so we can fix it! I promise, nothing bad is going to happen to you.”

Most of us have been there. We want to tell the truth, but we hesitate and may hedge the truth, or beat around the bush, because we do not feel safe. After all, we are hard-wired for survival, and “putting ourselves out there” can bring up all sorts of negative emotions! If we do not feel safe, we will take action to protect ourselves!  

Although, this is curious. Can you imagine how much faster we would discover the best solution if we and our teams felt safe enough to be 100% honest? How much more meaningful our conversations would be? 

I wish we all had an Isabel on our side. Isabel creates an environment in which her team members feel safe speaking the truth and giving honest feedback and input. 

Does this sound scary to you? Exhilarating?  Perfect!  Because Growth and Comfort Cannot Coexist!  I’m not suggesting that we have to intentionally put ourselves in painful situations. What I am saying is this: the more we commit to speaking honestly – with kindness and curiosity – the more we grow, and the more meaningful our conversations will be. 

When I worked with Isabel, I observed her employees enhancing their skills quickly, accomplishing the right things more efficiently, and I could see they felt awesome about what they each accomplished. Her leadership team was strong, crazy smart, and brutally honest with each other! YOU can create the same environment.

If we want a strong team that speaks the truth, we need to Judge Less & Talk More.

  1. When we need to tell someone something went wrong, and we start feeling a need to protect ourselves, take a deep breath. This is a simple and fast way to re-set the nervous system and help us remain in the moment. 
  1. Be curious. Focus on asking powerful questions to learn as much as we can from the situation.
  1. If we are listening to a person telling us something went wrong, remember it is impossible to know the entirety of their story!  We should never assume!  Instead, focus on creating a safe environment in which they can tell us the truth. Ask powerful questions, clarify, and confirm, talk through the situation, and help everyone learn from the situation. 

Read this simple and important article – 10 Reasons to Stop Judging People.  I especially liked the Albert Einstein quote!