A Coaching Power Tool Created by Sunil Chhibar
(Executive Coach, INDIA)
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.– Mother Theresa
Mindfulness means moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness. It is cultivated by refining our capacity to pay attention, intentionally, in the present moment, and then sustaining that attention over time as best we can. In the process, we become more in touch with our life as it is unfolding. Jon Kabat-Zinn
Any judgment is past oriented, and existence is always herenow, life is always herenow. All judgments are coming from your past experiences, your education, your religion, your parents – which may be dead, but their judgments are being carried by your mind and they will be given as a heritage to your children. Generation after generation, every disease is being transferred as a heritage. Only a non-judgmental mind has intelligence, because it is spontaneously responding to reality. Rajneesh
What is Good Judgment?
Good judgment is when human beings make a well thought out decision with regards to any given situation or person. This is not considered as being judgmental.
What is being judgmental?
Judgmental, on the contrary, has a negative connotation. We are judgmental when we thoughtlessly and negatively label people according to our harsh and critical opinions. We are judgmental when we are looking at other people or situations through a closed mind. It is akin to fault-finding where we take the privilege of making moral judgments or those emerging from our opinions.
Judgemental behaviour makes us carry our personal agenda with preconceived beliefs and opinions into every relationship, be it personal or professional. Our closed-minded approach becomes a barrier and we find ourselves stuck in a cocoon of negativity. We are not open to listening and understanding others. This throws away the trust and intimacy and in the absence of trust, there is no scope of healthy relationships. We are unable to build any self-confidence. In the absence of self-confidence and self-trust, we feel completely disempowered.
A judgmental bent of mind makes us get into negative moral evaluations of everyone who crosses our path. We unknowingly design a moral rating system that suits us and favours us. This makes us focus on every negativity and we keep dreading the worst for others and from others. We are then unable to separate the person from the labels that we have imposed upon others. As a result, this person is viewed by us as a morally corrupt person. This leads to distorted perceptions of other people, of ourselves and of the society in general.
Being judgmental is also a reflection of exhibiting our own hidden weaknesses and flaws. A judgmental person is mostly in a space of blame and knowingly or unknowingly shifts the responsibility and ownership from self to others. Such a person harbours very low self-esteem and low self-love. A judgemental person is thinking, speaking, or behaving in a manner that is demeaning and derogatory to the other person.
The judgemental approach violates the very ethical guidelines and professional standards given in the ICF Code of Ethics. The coach is never present fully at the moment. Coach is running his/her own agenda, opinions, conclusions, and is asking questions which may be harsh or opinionated and not connected with the client. The client will never trust the coach and so will never open up with real issues as he sees himself in an uncomfortable space. In such a situation coaching never happens.
What is being Non-judgmental?
Non-judgmental is the antonym of judgmental which means we do not make any judgments emerging from our very personal opinions or our accepted and set standards. Being non-judgmental empowers a person to enjoy an open mind during the conversations. The non-judgmental conversation keeps one light and builds trust in the person who is communicating with you. The person sees the authenticity in the communication and drops every kind of defensiveness.
A non-judgmental approach is always successful in building strong and lasting relationships. A non-judgmental person never indulges in negative moral evaluations of others. The person is always in the present moment, listens intently, is fully involved, reflects whatever the other person is saying and replies by responding in a healthy positive way. He/she is not critical in the approach and do not condemn another’s point of view.
Keeping our harsh and critical judgments aside when we choose a non-judgmental way of being and doing, life looks pleasurable and exciting. This then enriches every thread of the fabric of our life. Being non-judgmental enables us to get into the shoes of the other person and initiates understanding at a deeper level. Whenever you free yourself from judging, you get a spirituality that is freeing. Their vulnerability strengthens the coaching process as they share their deepest fears and doubts with you. You enjoy a deep sense of calm and peace as you are not labelling or creating positives or negatives.
Being non-judgmental offers a higher level of empowerment. We enjoy a sense of freedom when we look at everything with a deep sense of understanding. We are able to look at and enjoy the inherent beauty in everyone.
Non-Judgmental behaviour Leads to trust and positivity.
Trust + Positivity = Empowerment
Judgmental behaviour leads to doubt and negativity.
Doubt + Negativity = Disempowerment
If we are criticising and being judgmental of others, we must take a pause and check with ourselves. Self-reflection at such sensitive times is essential.
“What is really happening here?”
“Where is this judgmental behaviour coming from?”
“Am I feeling content, calm and whole?”
“What am I feeling deprived of?”
“What needs to change in me to feel accomplished?”
“Am I feeling centred and grounded?”
What is the way forward?
- Practice mindfulness and be aware of yourself and your internal struggles.
- Do not judge people on your ‘self-created’ scales and levels.
- Respect diversity and accept diversity of thoughts, feelings, perspectives, cultures, ethnicity, gender, community, race, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.
- When you stop assessing others on your personal set of principles and standards, you will feel a sense of peace and empowerment.
- This will be instrumental in creating awareness.
- The new learning will empower you towards acceptance and acceptance will eventually facilitate a shift in your perspective.
- A heavy burden will be lifted from your shoulders giving you wings to take higher flights of success and happiness.
It is highly imperative for the coach to be aware of his or her own mindset.
Self-awareness will empower the coach to be able to serve the clients better.
There are many techniques that the coach can use to help the client choose to be non-judgmental.
- Exploring ‘why, when, where, how and what causes ‘judgment’ to show up in the client’s life.
- Creating self-awareness in the client by uncovering limiting underlying beliefs, values and perspectives that might be the underlying cause of the client’s judgmental behaviour.
- By using the tool of ‘Perceptual Positioning’ the coach can enable to client to see the scenario from three different positions. The first position of the client as himself/herself being judgmental, the second position of the other person and how the judgment impacted him/her and the third position of an unbiased observer who is witness to the entire incident.
- Experiencing the issue from three different positions it becomes clear to the client about the negative impact of being judgmental.
- As a coach how will you choose being non-judgmental in a coaching engagement?
- What are some questions you can ask your clients to shift their perspective from that of being judgmental to being non-judgmental?
- What shift did you notice in the client who gained awareness and released his/her judgment?
- Reflect and examine the incident where you were judgmental towards someone?
- What were the accompanying thoughts and feelings at that point in time?
- Reflect upon incidents where you were completely non-judgmental?
- How did your non-judgmental approach impact you and the other person mentally, emotionally and physically?
Quotes from https://www.azquotes.com