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The humanKIND Blog

Bring Down the Judgement and Up the Curiosity to Improve Relationships

Last week's post tackled getting into alignment at work and it was a doozie! Many of you had requests to go a bit deeper into the content, so I will break it into pieces and share a bit more about each of the "7 Ways to Get Alignment at Work" (and in life!).

This is an expansion of tip #1: Take Ownership.


Judgey McJudgerton

We're all biased. We all judge. And those things affect the way we see the world, our work, and other people.

I recently was talking with a friend who shared an interesting realization. She had been doing some reflection on her “learned beliefs,” those beliefs we are exposed to growing up through our home life, activities, people we meet, etc. One of her a-ha’s is that her whole life she felt animosity and a sort of anger towards people with big families. It was only when she looked back into her learned beliefs that she was reminded of negative comments about large families that her dad shared often. It wasn’t hers, it was his.

Imagine all the other impressions, judgements and biases that we absorb from something we have heard repeatedly from people we love and respect. Or even just once from someone at work. Once you hear it, it’s hard to take back. Like my daughter will say about her bad thoughts, “It’s stuck in my heart and I just can’t seem to get it out!”

Have you read Gabby Bernstein’s Judgement Detox book? Good read and I appreciate her honesty on the subject. Releasing judgement has to be a continuous practice. Because we’re human.

“We must look closely at our shadow and shine light on it.” – Gabrielle Bernstein


Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Work to explore your beliefs.

Some beliefs are “learned” and many of them are “limiting” in the sense that they don’t serve you. They close off your head and your heart to people, ideas and even your own dreams. Pick one belief that you have and trace it back. A great trick for that is to apply the “5 Why’s” strategy. Used often in the business world, it can be applied to you personally, too.

I use it like an onion, peeling back the layers of a situation, thought or in this case a belief. Let’s use one of my “limiting” beliefs that I was able to let go of years ago, but impacted my professional interactions.

Heidi adds no value to our leadership team.


Because she just sits there and rarely adds anything to the conversation.


I know she's more introverted, but jeez.


She may need time to process our topics.


So she can feel prepared and contribute to the conversation.


So she feels like a valued member of the team.

I preferred bringing topics to the meeting and opening it up for brainstorming to see where they would go. That didn’t work for someone like Heidi. I adjusted my behavior and worked to consider areas I wanted to focus on during these meetings and let the leadership team know in advance. And it worked! Heidi spoke up more in our meetings and her insights were very valuable.


Get Curious

So, get to work! Watch for your Judgey McJudgerton to come out. (You’ll know him, as he wears a top hat and his pants are always in a bunch.) Don’t ignore him. Get curious and dig in. Only through reflection will we be able to progress.

Peace and Progress,



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