There’s been a lot of research around what makes for good judgment in business and life. Today a few friends and I wanted to talk about a common blindspot in business that leads to insecurity and self-sabotage.

Judgment is our conscious or unconscious ability to produce insight from perceived patterns. It’s similar to taking a shortcut, and as you might know, shortcuts don’t always lead to the right place. Good judgment is something we ask of our leaders, but when we say this without having clear behaviors as a guide, we’re playing with fire.

How you judge is simply something you need to rethink, and here’s how to start:

1. Turn up the curiosity. Explore ideas and experiences by asking questions such as, “What else is important here?” and “What am I not seeing or hearing?”

2. Challenge your biases. This may take some more time because you first need to be aware that you have biases. Reflection is key here. Put yourselves in the place of the people you judge, and remember that one bad experience doesn’t determine all the future ones. 

“Good judgment hygiene makes for better business and a better life.”

3. Listen longer. If you’re waiting for the other half of a conversation to stop talking so you can assert your ideas, you aren’t listening. Practice listening for understanding before making a judgment.

4. Watch your language for excessive ‘shoulds’: ‘She should have done this’, or ‘I should have done that.’ Stop ‘shoulding’ on yourself! 

Remember, judgment is less about them and more about you. If that’s not enough motivation to do better, I don’t know what is.

If we can create more space for better quality thinking, we would make fewer assumptions, lay less blame, and make more room for better connections. Good judgment hygiene makes for better business and a better life. If you’re looking to upskill your team and need support, please contact us at