Here comes the judge!

Some of you may remember Flip Wilson’s bit from the show Laugh-In in the late 1960’s. He’d enter the stage with white wig and black robe, “Here come da judge!” While this phrase was an oft used punch line on the show, it’s not always funny or helpful.

Have you been judged? How does it feel?

Although none of us like to be judged, we often do it to others. Because judgement involves disapproval…this behavior is right or wrong, this person is silly or incompetent, they are mean or rude, etc., it requires a different approach to be fair and effective.

A friend of mine recently told me of her daughter’s judgmental attitude toward her. It left my friend angry, feeling misunderstood and ignored. The result was an unnecessary rift in their relationship.

Research tells us that in .07 seconds we decide if we can trust another person or not.

A nanosecond to judge a person’s character! And, once we judge, we often climb up the ladder of conclusion that seeks confirmation of our judgement. We allow our minds to review memories for the sole purpose of substantiating our belief. We just look for behavior that aligns with our judgement. Once we start this climb to a conclusion already made, to prove we are right in our judgment, we’ve created an unnecessary rift in what may have otherwise become an important relationship.

As a student and teacher of Conversational Intelligence, I offer an alternative.

Listen to Connect – not judge, confirm or reject, is a way of listening to another person with a focus on them not you. It’s bigger than just listening to understand-which is more about listening to confirm what you know. Listening to connect is about focusing your attention on the other person: What are they trying to say? What are they thinking? What are they trying to express? What are they hoping you will help them to explore? What are they feeling?…all without any judgement.

It’s time to toss off the white wig and black robe. Amazing possibilities exist when you take the time to listen to connect.

When you practice this alternative to hasty judgment and hone your skills to stay truly open to a connection with others, you open a pathway to create strong, meaningful relationships that are grounded in empathy, appreciation, understanding and selflessness.

Listening to Connect is about you connecting and exploring their world without judgement.