The other day I had a call with a business coach I met at one of my networking meetings.
She said something that I had never heard or thought of, “Curiosity and judgment can’t live in the same place at the same time”. (Thanks Alissa!~)
Think about it.
When you may be tempted to judge someone about their actions or behaviors, become curious instead.
Become curious about why they have reacted or behaved in a certain way. When you become curious, you’re not able to judge them are you?
Maybe what they’re doing is because something you don’t know about in their life is bothering them. Maybe they themselves or someone they love might be going through health issues.
They may have aging parents that are needing extra help or care.
They may have been up all night with a sick child.
The list is endless of what could be happening in their lives. Become curious instead of jumping to judge someone.
It’s an exercise I know will help shift your thoughts and your emotions. You may find compassion for that person.
As I looked up information others have said about curiosity vs judgment, I was surprised there was so much written on this.
Here’s something I found as I researched:
What’s different about these two statements?
- “Why didn’t you get the report done?”
- “What is the reason the report didn’t get done?”
The difference is very subtle, just a matter of tone, of facial expression, perhaps, and certainly of intent.
- The first statement comes from a place of judgment: “I gave you three weeks to do this report. What have you been doing? Why couldn’t you get it done? What’s wrong with you?”
- The second statement comes from a place of curiosity: “Is there a reason the report is unfinished? Is something going on? What can I do to help?”
While both of these statements represent a form of critical feedback, the difference between them is profound. Judgment destroys relationships; curiosity builds them. This is why interpersonal communication training and feedback is so important.
Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Those same pathways to innovation and excellence can be just as easily blocked by judgment—if teams and their leaders allow it. Also within your personal relationships.
It is critical to keep that philosophy in perspective because it’s easy for people to judge what they are hearing instead of add value to it.
If people were to observe their own communication, and individuals became aware of the type of feedback they’re giving—judgmental or curious—what could happen with their relationships?
The difference can make or break a business or a relationship.
- Judgment is rooted in past experiences.
- Judgment does not involve being present to the ideas of others or trusting in one’s colleagues, spouses or friends.
- Curiosity is the antithesis of judgment.
- Curiosity comes from being present, trusting, and trustworthy.
- Rather than impeding it, curiosity facilitates progress.
- Curiosity and listening, leads to innovation within relationships,
- Judgment shuts down innovation faster than anything else.
I just had a communication with someone I love that didn’t go as I wanted it to. When I hung up the phone, I immediately became judgmental. Then I remembered to change that to curiosity instead. What happened for me was to laugh out loud at my initial reaction. I became aware I had another choice.
I chose to become curious about why he behaved in the way he did. My feelings became softer and I became more compassionate toward him.
I challenge you to begin adopting this exercise yourself. I’m taking the challenge too. This is new behavior for me.
I know that as we each shift out of judgment and into curiosity, it will transform our lives and relationships.
Maybe you’ll become more compassionate toward yourself as well?
Leave me a comment after this blog or send me an email with your thoughts. Let me know if you too will take on this challenge to become curious instead of judgmental.
With love and appreciation,
PS. My offer still stands for each of you to set up a 30 minute FREE phone conversation with me to discover your purpose or to talk about anything else.
Here’s the link to set up your appointment:
PSS. Join me and a small group of people for the time of your life on the gorgeous island of Kauai. October 5-12, 2018 is our next Glow Kauai Spiritual Vacation Retreat in paradise.
I will share with you outside under a tree, near the ocean, 10 of my favorite Universal Laws to transform your personal and professional life.
All details and videos from past retreats are on my retreat page:
Contact me back ASAP! The spots are filling up!