I’ve been to many meetings and listened to many interviews and walked away disappointed and frustrated. This was due to either due to answers that were wanting or a complete a lack of answers. Questions are the way we probe for specific information. One of the primary reasons for asking a question is so one can be enlightened, specifically. Why responding vs. answering? Because there is difference
A standing fact is that we all have different perspectives. One of the things I think we are prone to every now and then is to, whether consciously or not, think our way is better or we know better than another.
At times we are correct and at other times not. We’re all guilty of “over-estimating” ourselves at one point or another… We’re guilty on ALL levels, be it corporate or organizationally or individually…
A couple of days ago I caught myself reflecting on an organization I had visited and I realized I was, in a way, “passing judgment” on how they did certain things. I reined my thoughts and challenged myself to objectivity and, not to judge.
Here’s a list of reasons why I’ve decided to suspend judgment and I’d like to challenge you to consider before passing judgment and perhaps you may end up suspending your judgment too:
Do I Fully Understand Why They Are Doing Things That Way?
There is nothing as bad as criticizing from ignorance. It could be embarrassing when you discover the real ‘why’ and not only that, you can never take back the words you’ve uttered. Don’t pass judgment on what you don’t know.
Is their cause ‘just’?
Before passing judgment, I’ve learnt to check the motive or cause. Is it just? Is it self-seeking etc. I’ve also come to realize that while the cause may be just the methods may not be.
However, there are instances where the cause is just and there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with the means. Where people tend to have issues though is that things are being done in a way they would do it.
Sometimes the fight people have against organizations, even individuals is that they’re simply not doing things the way they either feel they should be or the way they would do it. At this point I’d challenge us (you & I) to celebrate that at least they doing something.
Am I Doing Something To Address The Issues They Are Addressing?
This happens many times… People passing judgment on individuals and or organizations that are doing “something” about issues. Before you pass judgment, ask yourself, “am I doing anything about this particular issue?” or “is what I’m doing measuring up in any way to the scale of the impact?”.
I’ve realized most critics are people who aren’t doing anything to address things the doers are combating. Before you pass judgment, are you willing to do what they are doing, really?
Would you be willing to fight it out the way they have? Perhaps what you should be focusing on is looking into how you can be a support.
Have I Really Sought Out The Good?
Before you criticize, you need to ask yourself, “what have I sought in these people or organization’s actions?” Sometimes we sweat the small stuff that doesn’t compare to the good that others may be doing.
Perhaps you should be commending them for their efforts instead of passing judgment.
Will My ‘Critique’ Build Up?
Often, when we pass judgment (generally the negative type) we make it a point to share with other people. We share with people we know are more likely to agree with us, thus winning them onto our “panel of judges”.
What normally happens from there is that point is that we build a greater voice to speak in a way that doesn’t help but just strengthens opposition for those we pass judgment on. Thus, being a part of their problem(s).
Am I Being Proud?
I’ve met people who have been pioneers of sort. Innovators. I’ve seen some of them cheer others to build on and even exceed their achievements. On the other hand, I’ve seen others want to hold on to their “legacy” by passing and sharing patronizing judgment, to build a following against.
I’m sure at one point or another (especially if you’re a leader) you’ve at the receiving end of critique from an, “I’m better than you attitude”. While it is easy for us to recognize the pride in others when they critique us, it is easy for us to be oblivious when we’re at the giving end.
I’ve shared a couple of excerpts that have impacted me greatly, at different times… They’re also a glimpse into some of the books I’ve read in the past and highly recommend… Today’s excerpt is from a “classic” on prayer and faith:
“A dear friend of mine who was quite a lover of the chase, told me the following story: ‘Rising early one morning,’ he said, ‘I heard the baying of a score of deerhounds in pursuit of their quarry. Looking away to a broad, open field in front of me, I saw a young fawn making its way across, and giving signs, moreover, that its race was well-nigh run. Reaching the rails of the enclosure, it leaped over and crouched within ten feet from where I stood. A moment later two of the hounds came over, when the fawn ran in my direction and pushed its head between my legs. I lifted the little thing to my breast, and, swinging round and round, fought off the dogs. I felt, just then, that all the dogs in the West could not, and should not capture that fawn after its weakness had appealed to my strength.’ So is it, when human helplessness appeals to Almighty God. Well do I remember when the hounds of sin were after my soul, until, at last, I ran into the arms of Almighty God.”
The Church [of 2020] will not back away from big issues or hide within a comfortable Christian sub-culture. It will see itself as having responsibility for the state of its city, rather than simply the condition of its members. The church of 2020 will recognize that it has an internal culture and celebrate – but not worship – it. Leadership is not primarily about building organizations but creating cultures. To lead any group of people well you must first create a healthy a new sense of what is healthy, acceptable and normal thinking and behavior in that group. A healthy culture is fundamental to a strong sense of identity, which leads to growth.
This excerpt is from Mal Fletcher’s book “The Church of 2020” The book is laden with great foresight, leadership principles and great blueprint for building Church (or any other organization’s) culture…
In the previous post (the bridge between dream / vision & fruition – essential 1) I touched on the first “essential” to seeing the fruition of a dream or vision. I thought I’d do a follow up on the second essential which, together with the first one form a solid and requisite foundation for success.