How I used to be highly Judgmental..
The ‘Professor’ got up and went to the Board to make his point. I and my colleagues exchanged glances and our eyes smiled at each other without being obvious to the ‘Chamchas’ around. The scene was our regular Monthly Performance review meeting and the ‘Professor’ was our Boss who was going to the Board to make his point by drawing some pictures / models on the board. He loved illustrating his point with a model. So, I labelled him as ‘Professor’ and enjoyed making fun him behind his back. Not a very harmful fun. But, I labeled him anyway. You would have noticed that I have labeled a certain others in the meeting as ‘Chamchas’ too.
I was preparing to meet ‘My enemy’ for a short review meeting. I was expecting to hear a lot of objections from him for my proposals and was getting ready as to how I can ‘take him on’. This ‘My enemy’ was again my Boss in another setting and I always expect trouble from him as he ‘does not like me’. I always used to go to him with a lot of preparation. But, somehow I always used to lose the battle/s.
I was very happy I have ‘My big supporter’ in the coming meeting. I know he is going to back me up on the few targets that I have not achieved. The meeting started and I started presenting my KPIs. When I reached the failed KPIs, I expected a word of encouragement from ‘My big supporter’. What I got was a cautious ‘you should better and you should do it fast’. But, still I felt ‘My big supporter’ is my only hope in this company with a lot of ‘enemies’.
I just came home from office and was getting down from my car. The ‘Pain in the a***’ neighbor wished me and wanted to know how my day was. I wished him with a brief hi and ran in side the home as I ‘knew’ he was going to drill me on my opinion about several happenings in our residential community and try to enlist my support to his views.
The list can be long and unending. I always used to have an opinion about everyone and everything around me and the list of ‘good’ people and ‘bad’ people was always growing.
What is wrong with being Judgmental?
Looking back, I realise that I was being highly critical of the world around me. I was suffering some consequences of my behavior which I may not have realized at all. I would have taken all these as ‘normal’.
01. Missing the other point of view: By filtering what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’ for me, I would have lost the opportunity of listening to the other point of view. I was limiting myself in to a cocoon and missing out several Learning opportunities.
02. Limiting my world: By defining what was my world, I excluded a lot of people from it. Probably lost out the opportunity to make many more good friends.
03. Making it tough for myself: I always was thinking about the ways and means of tackling the ‘other guys’. Putting a lot of strain on myself. I was actively contributing to more similar behavior from everyone around as I have put filters and not accepting anything else.
04. Making it difficult for my Bosses: I had been a consistently good performer wherever I worked. My Bosses were having a tough time with one of their Stars being highly judgmental about the people around and hence dividing the organization in to pro and anti.
How not to be Judgmental?
Over years, I have realized that I can be non-judgmental.
01. Be in the present moment: Look at what is happening now around you and deal with it. Try not to put the color of ‘your experience’ on everything around you. While I would have ‘certain experience’ in the past, that does not mean it would repeat every time. By responding to the moment genuinely with current facts, I am not punishing people for something from the past or giving them credit in the current situation for something from the past.
02. Look at the issue and not the person: Many a times I used to associate the person with some behavior. I learned how to look at the issue and not the person. This helped me in being in the present moment too. Others were more convinced that I was responding on the situation and not picking on them.
03. Chase what is right:One needs to go for what is right and not what either I or the other person likes/ dislikes. This requires a skill to look at the issue from a distance. You have to imagine yourself to be out of the situation and not part of the situation. To solve a problem, you should not become part of the problem.
04. Express your opinion nicely:I still remember how one of my ex-bosses told me not to be ‘disagreeable’, but encouraged me to ‘disagree’. You can disagree with someone. But, by being ‘disagreeable’ you are alienating yourself from the person.
05. Resist your ‘Urge to Control’:Very often one acts from the urge to control the situation and thus take away the control from others. You would feel if you have to ‘win’ the other guy has to ‘lose’. You are not happy unless you see the feeling of ‘having lost’ on the other person’s face! You need to have confidence in yourself that you are chasing ‘what is right’ and not ‘what you want’. This will result in a discussion with the issue on the table. Otherwise the issue will be either in your lap or in the lap of the other person. It is almost like two children fighting for a Toy.
06. Welcome Learning opportunities:You need to accept that there is lot to learn for you in the world and when someone presents a different point of view or does not agree with you, it is a learning opportunity.
How does it help ‘Being Not Judgmental’?
01. Liberation: It liberates you from the need to look at how to defeat the others. You no longer are tense getting in to meetings with your ‘enemies’. You may start enjoying your interaction with others. You will be much more ‘at peace’ with everything around you.
02. Learning: You would start learning much more as your world has suddenly expanded and you are able to expand your friend circle. You would become receptive to much more learning from the universe.
03. Problem solver: You would turn out to be a much better Problem Solver as you are able to connect up to many more people and look at things as they are.
04. Better Leader: You would become a much more accepted Leader as everyone around you start experiencing you as much more ‘fair’ and a ‘respectable leader’.
If you are non judgmental, Your Life can become a much better Learning and enjoyable journey. I think that is a good incentive to become non judgmental!!