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Transforming Judgment of Others

By Martha Lasley, Virginia Kellogg,
Richard Michaels & Sharon Brown

Coaching for Transformation
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The same process we use to transform self-judgment can be used to transform judgment of others, except we ask clients to look at what was actually done or said that didn’t meet their needs. Instead of projecting judgments on others, our clients can learn to own their judgment and their needs.

The steps for transforming judgment of others include:

Identify the judgment: The judgment could be a story, a label, a thought or a belief. It could be something your client thinks is absolutely true about that person. What judgment do you have of the other person?

Clarify the observation: What did the person actually do that led to this judgment? Ask for the observation or the exact words. What did the person actually do or say?

Identify needs:

Needs unmet by the other’s action: Help your client identify their needs, savor those needs and notice how they feel. Since the judgment points your client toward an unmet need, make sure they identify a need and not a strategy. Strategies are ways to meet needs. What needs were unmet for you when the person did or said that?

Needs you were trying to meet by judging: Since the judgment is an attempt to meet a need, support your client in understanding their positive intent in judging others. What needs of yours were you trying to meet when you judged the person? Savor those needs and notice how you feel.

Needs you are trying to meet by holding on to the judgment: You may notice some shift , but if the judgment is still alive in the client, ask what needs the client is trying to meet by holding on to the judgment. Consider what needs you are trying to meet now by holding on to the judgment you have of the person. Savor those needs and notice how you feel.

Action: Give your client complete choice in honoring all the needs at stake before moving into action. Now that you are steeped in awareness of your needs, what actions can you take that would meet multiple needs at once?

Once our clients are fully connected to their deeper needs, their attention may move toward strategies for meeting needs, so encourage them to brainstorm ways to meet the needs of both the chooser (the part of them that chose to act the way they did) and the educator (the part of them that wants them to act differently).


Excerpt from the book Coaching for Transformation: Pathways to Ignite Personal & Social Change by Martha Lasley, Virginia Kellogg, Richard Michaels and Sharon Brown. As faculty at Leadership that Works, they certify coaches who offer personal, organization and community transformation. Check out the free Power of Coaching teleclass.

Coaching is life-changing, world-changing work. The coaching programs at Leadership that Works go beyond theories and models and work with clients on a deeper level. You learn how to coach the whole person: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Whole person Transformation.

Leadership that Works

Transforming the world.
One heart at a time.

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