What I am writing here is based on my own experience and what I observed and learned. It is my point of view and it makes sense to me. It has worked for me and is still working for me. It remains being your responsibility to do your own critical thinking, don’t just believe.

And that is exactly my intention: making you think for yourself.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Judging Others

So, you are telling me that one should never judge other people. Judging others is a bad thing. Let’em be the way they are. In a way be good and don’t judge. And here we are again: sitting around the campfire,  joining hands and singing kumbaya …
That’s not what life is about. And it certainly is not what leadership is about.
We all make judgements about others all the time. It’s hardwired in our system. It helped our ancestors to survive. The moment you see a person the first time you judge, yes, you! Who is that? What might be his or her intentions? Can this person be trusted? And so on. And you get this gut feeling, this knowingness. And voilĂ , judgment made.
When I am going mountain climbing I want to know before who is who. I want to know who is going to be at my rope. I want to know who I entrust my life. For that you need good judgement. You must judge the person at face value. Is this person up to the challenge? Does he / she have the mental strength required? How does this person most likely react in a dangerous situation? Can he or she being relied upon no matter what? And I judge and decide. Because I know that the entire tour could be jeopardized if I don’t.
The same is true when you lead a team. You need to know whether your team members are ready and able to deal with whatever problem comes up. There is only that much the paper form will tell you. Hence, you judge. You judge based on your experience with people. I especially pay attention to their character and mental strength. I want to understand how they react under pressure. That’s also the reason I am so adamant when it comes to team training. It’s the closest you can get to a good judgement. And always get your thinking in gear.
As a leader you cannot afford failure because you wanted to be nice.
Judging, good judgment of people is a core skill a leader must have. And as any skill it can be trained. Over time you will get proficient. I would say that in 8 out of 10 cases I am spot on. And that’s based on the feedback I get. It’s not perfect. But it’s close enough. Keep in mind that nothing is certain.
All of us have that skill. We are born with it. You might suppress it from time to time and playing ‘nice and good’. That’s because you are longing for appreciation and approval. Based on my experience I can tell you that I paid a price when I did that. Each and every time.
Judging others is an important skill. It can be honed through training.
Don’t tell me you don’t judge others. That’s nonsense. Because you do and all the time.
Keep your eyes wide open when choosing a partner. Or whomever you let into your life. In business and in personal relationships. And make your judgement. It’s an excellent tool.