Thursday, September 13, 2012

Observation Does Not Involve Judgment.

Observation Does Not Involve Judgment.

Observing something and making a judgment about it are two separate things. 

When we observe something.. for instance, how someone is dressed, or their posture, or the color of their skin, all we are doing is collecting data. During this process, there is no assessing, evaluating, interpreting, or judging. We are just noticing something exactly as it is. Like facts, these things are neither right or wrong, good or bad, better or worse. We are not making comparisons. We are just seeing what is there. Exactly as it is. No more, no less.

But, of course, we also judge and evaluate, and compare. It's just part and parcel of being human. We take that data and we reflect on it using previous experiences in an attempt to understand what it means. Of course, this will never allow us to know what it means. Because, at best, whatever we come up with will only be a speculation. Regardless, however, it is what we do. That's just the way the brain works. 

Of course, this does not mean we can't be aware of these two distinctions. Observing Something. And, evaluating something. 

But, what's the point of becoming aware of these two distinctions or being able to consciously distinguish one from the other, you might ask. Well, here's the thing... Not knowing that what you think about what you see is just that, a thought, not a fact, will limit you to responses only be based on an assumption. For example; Let's say a person is wearing clothing that in your estimation fits poorly. Maybe it's wrinkled and could use a good press. Or, it seems dated. If this is the case, you might conclude that this person lacks a certain standing, or maybe competence. If so, you may very well interact with this person on the basis of that assumption. In doing so, you may find you're interaction to cause some friction. Especially if that individual is not as you've assumed them to be. 

Being able to recognize your assessments about something or someone as distinct from the information you've collected by observation enables you to more consciously choose how you want to engage with them. And, often times, that will provide the opportunity to get to know more about that individual than you might have unknowingly thought you already knew. 

The quality of our relationships are often driven by assumptions we make about the other person. We often operate with those individuals as if we already know more about them than we really do. And, that may often leave the other person offended and hurt because it seems you don't know them at all or do not respect them for who they really are. We most likely do not see the arrogance that this represents. But, they will.

The work that I do with my clients involves learning to recognize such distinctions that, without awareness of, creates and perpetuates situations and relationships that fall short of our desires. Facts from interpretations. Feelings from thoughts. Emotions from actions. Mastering the ability to recognize these and other distinctions will give you the power to choose, act, and communicate in ways that produce greater satisfaction in your life. And, will empower your ability to be authentic and true in your relationships and the circumstances of your life. 

If you want to know more, you know where to find me.


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