Tips for Conversations that Matter: The Judger/Learner Mindset

Moving from the Judger to the Learner Mindset

Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 7 Powerful Tools for Life and Work
by Marilee Adams, Ph.D.

What is the learner/judger mindset?

Judger Learner
Judgmental of self and/of others Accepting of self and others
Reactive and automatic Responsive and thoughtful
Know-it-already Values not-knowing
Inflexible and rigid Flexible and adaptive
Either/or thinking Both/and thinking
Self-righteous Inquisitive
Afraid of difference Values difference
Defends assumptions Questions assumptions
Possibilities seem as limited Possibilities seen as unlimited
Primary mode: protective Primary mode: curious
We all have both mindsets, and we have the power to choose how we operate in any moment.

How do judger/learner relationships differ?

Judger Learner
Wins-lose relationships Win-win relationships
Feels separate from others Feels connected with others
Fears differences Values differences
Debates Dialogues
Criticizes Critiques
Listens for: Listens for:
  Right/wrong   Facts
  Agree/disagree   Understanding
  Differences   Commonalities
Feedback perceived as rejection Feedback perceived as worthwhile
Seeks to attack or defend Seeks to resolve and create

We all relate from both mindsets; and we have the power to choose how we relate in any moment.


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