In Lead more gently/ Purpose

When others judge

Being in leadership has its challenges.  One that I have always struggled with is the judgment of other people.

Let me explain.

A parent, for example, is a leader.  You have to make decisions for your family and lead them the best way you know how.  When my children were teenagers I decided on a curfew time for them and … they judged me.  “My friends parents let them stay out 2 hours later than that!  You don’t trust me.  What kind of parent are you?”

My rational brain tells me that my kid is lying – other parents don’t let their teenagers stay out that late;  I do trust my child – it’s the creeps out there I don’t trust; and I am a good parent.

That’s my rational brain.

My self-condemning brain says, “You don’t really know what you’re doing, you’re just winging it and you aught to rethink your decisions.”

When other people make judgments about my leadership I struggle with that self-condemning brain of mine.   I know that there are people out there who just don’t care what others think about them.  I’m not one of those people and I suspect most of us are not.  We are social creatures who want to be accepted by our pack.

I believe that a good leader:

  • Listens carefully to the opinions of others.
  • Sincerely considers those opinions.
  • Makes suitable changes if those opinions prove good and reliable.

Once I’ve done all the above and someone still judges me, it hurts.  But, it helps me to:

  • Not dwell on the criticism or judgment.   I force myself to become distracted by something else.  Dwelling on the criticism serves no purpose.
  • Not allow that self-condemning brain of mine to speak louder than the facts.
  • Remind myself that I made every effort to make the best decision I could with the information I had at hand.
  • Remember that others are entitled to their opinions.  So am I.

Question: How do you respond when others judge you? Click here to comment.


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