As children, we are taught to make good choices and develop good and sound judgments. Judgments keep us from playing with fire, talking to strangers, or running out on a busy street.
But your judgments can backfire on you if you’re not careful. This is true especially when you interact with others.
When you experience misunderstandings, conflicts or outright arguments, you start making judgments about the person you are dealing with. Your emotions get involved. Your ego tells you that these people are wrong, or bad, or stupid, or just plain ignorant. Then you assume they are out to get you; that they have some evil intention toward you. If left unchecked, you collect more and more examples of their transgressions.
And you proceed and communicate accordingly. Your judgment comes oozing out in your body language and the tone of your voice, even if you choose words that are not mean.
If you assume bad intentions in people you are going to get bad behavior from them.
Try to stop playing judge and reaching a verdict.
Instead of assuming they are wrong, bad, stupid or ignorant, you assume that they have a positive intention behind their actions. Endeavor to understand and react to that positive intention. Believe that you can find a middle ground to deal with them.
That could make a big difference in your communication with others. Maybe if you assume good intentions in people you will get good behavior from them.
It’s worth a try.
Question your judgment the next time you have a potentially volatile conversation:
• Don’t internalize any personal attacks that might come your way. You are OK.
• Assume you have the capability to settle any disagreements respectfully.
• Relay your intention to resolve the problem.
• Realize that the other person has a positive intention.
• Ask the other person what their intention is.
• Try to get the emotions side barred. Focus on the issues.
• Get him or her discussing a desirable outcome.
By reducing your interpersonal judgment, you free your mind up to work out misunderstandings without so much stress.
Chris Waugh is a business consultant, author and speaker who “lends wings to your success.” Visit ChrisWaugh.com or Facebook.com/chriswaughonthefly for more.
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