written by Mick Ukleja

Why Do We Judge Others?

5 Tendencies That Ambush Our “Better” Judgment

No matter how much we think we shouldn’t judge others, we are conditioned to do it.  Making quick judgments can lead to regrets.  We narrate and share stories about others – usually without most of the facts.  We know that caution should be used when making judgments about someone’s character or choices.  Largely these are based on surface information leading to skewed impressions and outright mistakes.  The result?  Damage – personally and relationally!

Without increasing our self-awareness of why and how we judge, we are destined to repeat these mistakes over and over again.  Following are 5 tendencies that ambush our better selves.

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Mother Teresa                          

1. Look for the “halo effect” and its counterpart. If someone has a few positive traits then we tend to see them more positively as a whole.  The opposite is also true.  If someone has impressed us with a few negative traits, our overall impression will tend to be negative.  Let’s call it the horns effect.” The halo effect would say, “He is an outstanding speaker.  I’m sure he would make a great CEO.” Not necessarily!

Who hasn’t had the experience of forming a negative impression and saying, “I don’t like that person?” Then once you get to know them they become a good friend.  The problem is that once we make up our minds about a person’s character, it’s difficult to change (the horns effect).  We can even do things that make that person react to us in the way we are judging them.  You think someone is a snob so you don’t acknowledge them.  In turn, they don’t acknowledge you, which validates your judgment that they are a snob!  Knowing this tendency will help us judge fairly, patiently, and compassionately.

2.  Jumping to conclusions is our default mode. A wise person once said, “Jumping to conclusions is the only exercise some people get.” We tend to ascribe certain traits to others.  This is a convenient necessity at times.  We assume someone is friendly, or unfriendly; kind or unkind; cautious or aggressive.  This can be very helpful as we navigate the world around us, whether on vacation, at work, or in a social setting.  But as with any asset, there is the possibility of error.  We assume certain characteristics about others.  To not recognize this leads to the counterproductive habit of conclusion jumping.

3. Looks can be deceiving. Below the surface, people tend to judge others based on their own fears.  When we look at someone for the first time we see a reflection of our past experiences and associations.  It could be from their body language, or the way they dress and behave.  It is insightful to be aware of how our past can affect our present thoughts about someone else.  This helps us spot clues to false or premature judging.

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Posted In: Personal Values
written by Mick Ukleja


“God never made any material as resilient as the human spirit”

Resilience is an appealing characteristic. The temptation is to make it bigger than life. It’s not bigger than life. It’s how we go through life — successfully.

Here are 5 truths about resilience to remember.

  1. IT’S NOT JUST FOR A SELECT FEW – When we think of resilient people, we tend to attribute to those personalities heroic attributes. They face the un-faceable and solve the unsolvable. However, putting our energies into developing heroic qualities can cause us to chase after something that is unattainable. In that illusive chase, we can miss the real ingredients of resiliency that we need on a daily basis.
  1. IT’S ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESSFUL LIVING – Life is not an unending string of good after good. We face struggles, adversaries, and difficulties. We steer through everyday challenges. We overcome the difficulties of our past. We get thrown off course and have to get back on. New experiences challenge us and sometimes even frighten us. Overcoming them takes resilience. Like one lady said, “I’m never down. I’m either up, or getting up.” It’s the ability to get back up, go one more lap, and rise to the occasion.

“No one drowns by falling in the water. They drown by staying there.”

  1. ITS ATTRIBUTES INCREASE OUR ENDURANCE – In the world of engineering a resilient material is capable of withstanding shock, bending without breaking, and then returning to its original position. For humans it’s flexibility during life’s pressures. They come in various waves and to varying degrees. Humans, just like resilient material, sometimes shrink to minimal needs during high pressure, and then gather their energies to restart or sustain the mission, project, or issue.

“Storms don’t last. They go away.” Winston Churchill

  1. IT INVOLVES CHOOSING THE RIGHT BATTLES – Reinhold Niebuhr’s prayer (1943), is one of the keys to resilience. “Grant us —
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written by Mick Ukleja

7 Things That Drive Your Core Strengths…And Make You Unique

At your core there exists a unique set of abilities. We refer to them as strengths. These are not difficult to discover.  There are many “strength finder” type assessments that are more than capable of pointing these abilities out.

What usually goes unnoticed are the multiple enablers that surround our lives and enhance our abilities.  They make our abilities come alive.  And they come in many forms.  They stem from opportunities and circumstances that are unique to us.

Some are from the place of privilege (which is true of most even though often not apparent). And some are from the place of adversity. They are the parts of life that make you one of a kind.  It’s more than your strengths.  It’s your strengths combine with your life’s events.

I could have the same strengths as someone else, yet my opportunities and circumstances surrounding my origin and experiences make me unique!

Let me give you 7 enablers surrounding your strengths that make you unique. They also highlight your potential.

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