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Submitted by 2b6be4 on


Hi Everyone,

After multiple references in various podcasts I’m starting to read and digest “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”. I’ve got a lot to learn and found habit #3 (Passing Judgement) to be particularly challenging. The book suggests that we as leaders should withhold our opinion because others don’t like to be critiqued. 

How do we differentiate feedback from passing judgement? When I offer negative feedback I’m clearly communicating the impact of an undesired behavior. 

Is “Passing Judgement” more about the ideas and opinions others share prior to the making of a decision?

I find it hard to believe that I’m better off allowing a direct to proceed with a bad idea when my input could help make the idea better.

“Passing Judgement” seems to be closely linked to “Adding Too Much Value”

When is it ok for me to actually share my insights and opinions on the members of my team?


pucciot's picture
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Try to remember Horstman's Law #8

The “Other” Way Often Works Just Fine


There are a few things tied up in Passing Judgement.

1 - Yes, you need to make a real assement about how critical and damaging somthing might be.

If things don't go perfectly - then you need to understand the stakes.  Are they really as high as you fear.

Don't manage from your fears.

Heck - I'm sure even when you ahve done things in the way you thought were best they didn't always work out great.

Yes - Let them fail.  Or let them have results that are not the best.

If the stakes are low enough - just let it happen and use it as a chance to ask them - "How could it have been done better ?"


2 - You may find out that Horstman's Law #8 Actually works  !!! 

The other way may actually work just fine. (Maybe not perfect -- but Fine anyway)


3 - Passing Judgement also incorporates a kind of Moral dimension.  This must be avoided !

Change your words from "right" and "wrong" ---  "good" or "bad"  --- change to "more" or "less" "effective".    "Satisfactory for the goal"


Many people have a strong connection with the words right, wrong, good and bad.   They will take that very personal and feel that critiscim like that is a personal wound on their very integrity as a person.


I would recommend you learn the  Questions of Coaching that will help with this process.



Good Luck