ABSTRACT

Judgment turns dialogue into debate, conversation into combat. If you read this book focusing on all the things you think you need to prove you already know, or on all the things that you wish you knew that you don’t know, or on all the things you think you need to fix about yourself (or anyone else for that matter), you’ll feel like a ping-pong ball with judgment on one side of the table and defensiveness on the other. To avoid this scenario, we’re going to turn judgment into discovery. Yes. You read that correctly. We’re basically transforming judgment into a vehicle for discovery. Not because everything is all right and we just need to hum and sing songs to make the world a better place (that’s a hard no), but because in this conversation, judgment that stops us from connecting and engaging is a barrier, not a stepping-stone to real conversation. The ways we judge ourselves become powerful filters that stop us from discovering what’s right in front of us, blocking us from experiencing the reality that surrounds us. Our internal judgment generates outward defensiveness. 26Our outward defensiveness shuts down classroom conversation. Judgment and defensiveness are not good conversation partners. These two are a combo that can knock conversation and connection off the rails before we’ve even had a chance to get the classroom dialogue started.