To continue with my insights on the book by Marshall
Goldsmith, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,” this
week I will be discussing the habit of: Passing Judgment.
This habit has nothing to do with the judgments that
managers and executives make on a daily basis regarding
organizational resources. It has to do with that human
urge to give your opinion about something even though you
were not asked for your opinion. This most often occurs
as an unconscious trap that managers set for subordinates.
An example of this is when a manager in a meeting asks
subordinates for their ideas on an issue. Then the
manager has the urge to critique, positively or
negatively, every idea presented by each subordinate.
HR CONTRARIAN POINTER: There is nothing wrong with
offering an opinion in the normal give & take of business
discussions. However in traditional problem solving
situations, there is a reason for separating the
generation of ideas from the critique of those ideas.
When you ask your subordinates for ideas on an issue,
record the ideas as they surface and just say, “thank
you.” And resist the temptation to critique ideas, which
is usually a negative commentary as to why something will
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