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.
[image by s_falkow]