Judgment & Choice: Exploring Your Relationship to Change

summarized by David DeWinter
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I encourage you to go through the presentation to take the time to reflect on the questions that Lana poses. You may find a new way to create change by looking within yourself first.


Lana HailemariamCertified Professional Coach, Energy Leadership Index, ELI Master Practitioner & Gallup-Certified CliftonStrengths Coach

The 3-Sentence Summary

Judgment is an automatic process that gives us the ability to make sense of the world, but sometimes specific judgments can lead us to behavior which harms others. A solution to this is to build awareness of new perspectives, which we can only do by listening to and learning from communities with whom we don’t normally interact. This gives us new ideas and choices on how to govern our own thoughts and feelings, which in turn affects our behavior and helps us live in greater harmony with each other.


The Role of Judgment

4:10 Judgment is an automatic process by which we interpret the world around us in a way that preserves our safety. However, snap judgments can bias us towards damaging decisions before we even consciously process information.

6:48 Exercise #1: What feelings come up when you see the word “judgment”?

12:32 Your perception of reality is subject to your brain’s interpretation of it, which it does by using its knowledge and past experiences to apply judgment.

14:24 Exercise #2: How does your judgment serve you? (At work, at home, in life) This is a personal question that you have to reflect on. Judgment is not all good or all bad.

16:21 Exercise #3: How does your judgment serve you when it comes to inclusion and equity? Remember you get to decide whether judgments serve you or not.

18:38 Exercise #4: How does your judgment hold you back?

22:22 “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor Frankl

  • We have the opportunity to challenge our own brain.

The Role of Choice

23:36 What is choice? It’s a deliberate action you take when you perceive you have two or more options.

26:07  “I didn’t have a choice.” Is this really the case? Or did you not like the other options, or just not see them? We all have different perspectives on the same situations.

30:45 Judgments lead to thoughts, which lead to feelings, which drive actions and behaviors. When those actions and behaviors are harmful to others, we have to examine our thoughts and feelings and how we respond to them. If you just change your actions, it’s a temporary fix because the underlying thoughts and feelings haven’t changed.

New Perspectives = New Choices

34:43 Everything we put out into the world goes through our own filter. Everything we take in from the world also goes through our own filter.

36:00 Expanding your perspective can lead you to live in greater harmony with the world and with others. How?

  • Create opportunities to learn from communities you don’t normally interact with.
  • You can’t say you’re inclusive of a community if you have 0 ongoing perspective from that community.
  • Put yourself in situations that challenge your existing beliefs.
  • Get diverse data. One person doesn’t represent everyone in a certain demographic.
  • Practice what you learn.
  • Listen more.

41:12 Challenge: pick a day where you commit to listening only.

42:25 You don’t have to understand someone else’s perspective to assign value to it.

43:25 How can expanding your perspective benefit you?

45:01 Expanding your perspective gives you more choices!

Next Steps

46:25 Change starts from within. What you want to see, you must reflect from within.

47:02 What now? If you want to do something, consider the following framework:

  • Self-awareness: do the work, reflect on your own perspectives
  • Self-regulation: practice
  • Intentional actions: actions are now authentic because you’ve updated your thoughts and feelings
  • Impact on the world

48:16 “You are not responsible for your first thought. You are responsible for your second thought and first action.”


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