In our communications class we talk about judgment. Many people say:
“Judgment is bad. Don’t do it.”
“You have no right to judge.”
However, as we discuss judgment in class, we think about the fact that it is important that we DO judge -- some things.
We have to be able to judge if someone is going to harm us or not. We need to judge in some way, just so that we can protect ourselves.
We need to make a judgment call: is it more important for me to do THIS thing, or THAT thing.
We need to judge whether or not someone is going to be trustworthy. I do not want to do business with someone that I judge to be dishonest -- and it’s important that I think about that.
So -- what are principles of judgment?
We have to understand that there are two types of judgment. The first is what we call “moralistic.” This is the type of judgment that it is best to avoid.
“Joe is stupid.”
“Liz is a liar.”
Moralistic judgment says: There is a scale of right and wrong, and I am in charge of deciding what is right, and what is wrong. Moralistic judgment labels people, and puts them into a category -- either a “right, and acceptable” category, or a “wrong, and never going to be acceptable” category.
The second type of judgment is value judgment.
“Because I value honesty, I am going to vote for Bill. I have had experiences with him where he has shown me that is totally honest in how he deals with people.”
“I want our company to grow and expand, and one of the things I value that will help us grow, is education. I want to hire people who are willing to learn, and who pursue education as a high priority in their lives.”
Judgment is indeed a critical piece of being able to communicate meaningfully with others. We don’t want to label people, or set ourselves up as a judge and jury. But we DO want to make sure that we have the ability to make choices based on what we value in life.