In our daily life, we all tend to judge others without any reason. When you interact with a person, our primary attitude is to take his opinion without an open mind. This leads to misunderstanding, which eventually causes a spark in any relationship, making it unstable.
What is Non-Judgmental listening?
Non-Judgmental listening is the capacity to listen to other's opinions, keeping aside your thoughts and ideas. It is essential to create a strong and effective rapport and build effective relationships, especially in the workplace. For example, if your child is discussing with you his plans after high school, even if you disagree with his opinion, it is more helpful to listen and accept what they are saying instead of criticizing them and being judgemental.
Why should you be empathetic and genuine in your approach?
When we are in a judging mode, we are incapable of accepting the other person’s point of view. Instead, we filter through our own value and belief systems, thinking that we are right and the other person is wrong. For example, while a friend narrates an incident, instead of hearing it with an open mind, your immediate reaction is to advise him and give suggestions. More than that, they need a person to listen and sympathize with them rather than giving advice. Are we capable of doing that? Next time put yourself in their shoes and think of the situation from there perspective. People are what they are due to the circumstances in which they are brought up and due to their peer group's influence and certain situations in their life.
Once you understand that the other person is looking for a sounding board without being judged, you will not feel like venting out your emotions to him. If you understand this basic principle,you are being asked to listen, not judge and critique. We will be more empathetic towards the person as we know that people think differently. Respecting the other person with ideas contradictory to yours requires constant practice and maturity. Is it possible? Yes, it can be done only through proper behavior guidance where you understand that jumping to conclusions and making assumptions about others without empathy is inappropriate.
How to separate your judgments from the thinking process
After listening to a problem or situation, we should not jump to conclusions abruptly as our thoughts can be misleading and wrong. Before forming an opinion after listening, ask yourself if you were emotionally triggered and it formed a personal judgement. These are shortcomings in our thought processes. Even after reading a book, the essence of what we have grasped from it will be an amalgamation of our thoughts and the writer's imagination.
For instance, when a new employee joins our office, we tend to have our own thoughts before talking to him, which creates a barrier can lead to negativity. You should organize your thoughts well before passing any judgment on others. The thoughts which have gradually passed on to your subconscious mind should not play a pivotal role while listening to others as it will be judgemental. For instance, a student will not comprehend what the teacher is communicating in a classroom if he has a dislike for the person. Even during the lectures, he will be listening with a biased mind. Are you trying to change it instead of judging others while listening to them? Sometimes we all are caught up in situations and circumstances where the other person could have judged you through their own biases and judgements. How can you withhold judgment then? Your state of mind should be logical, as an observer to the conversation, not a part of the conversation while listening to others. Through proper behavior guidance, you will know how to separate your judgment mind from your thought process.
How can you display a non-judgemental approach?
Using verbal skills and minimal prompts like ‘I see'' without interrupting their conversation is imperative in non-judgmental listening. Your body language also plays a predominant role in interpersonal communication. Appropriate facial expressions, gestures and postures showcase your attitude as a non judgmental listener. Establishing proper eye contact is another positive trait in listening, as it conveys a friendly vibe to the speaker. For example, when listening to a person from a different cultural background, it is essential to recognize the cultural difference and adjust your verbal and non-verbal behavioral traits.
Accumatch Behavior Intelligence training assists you with the capacity to listen without being judgemental to the situation, person or circumstances. This will enable you to let go off unwise judgments and have an open mind while interacting with people, which is necessary for non-judgmental listening.