Are you in Judger mindset right now?
Judger mindset is critical, reactive, committed to being right, looks from its own perspective only, is win-lose and narrows possibilities. Judger in this sense means judgmental (attacking others or yourself). It usually puts you in conflict. Judger questions may lead you to feel de-energized, fearful, negative, tense or even a little depressed
In contrast, Learner mindset is open-minded, accepting, curious, discerning, thoughtful, looks from multiple perspectives and opens possibilities.
In the fable ‘Change Your Questions, Change Your Life’, Marilee Adams explains QuestionThinking, a system of tools for transforming thinking, action and results through skillful question-asking that helps you be more efficient, productive, successful and happy.
The lesson of the fable
Ask questions, lots of questions but make them skillful questions from a Learner perspective rather than a Judger mindset. Valuing not knowing is the basis of creativity and innovation. Genuine childlike curiosity is one of our greatest assets.
The questions you ask yourself can stimulate curiosity, inspire you and move you toward success OR they can drive you to despair, result in inactivity and failure. Rather than asking ‘Why can’t I meet project deadlines?’ ask ‘What’s possible? What can I learn about how I schedule my work or how much work I take on or my estimates of completion dates?’
People who spend more time in Judger than Learner can be driven and productive. They can also drive everyone around them nuts, lower productivity, cooperation, creativity and people’s ability to contribute. Operating from Judger can build resentment and conflict. An organization run by people in high Judger tends to have greater levels of stress, conflict and problems.
When you listen and ask questions from the Learner perspective, people feel accepted. They’re more forthcoming, cooperative and creative. It’s civility.
It is mindfulness as Ellen Langer says in her book ‘Mindfulness’:
Mindfulness is creation of new categories,
openness to new information
and awareness of more than one perspective.