Evaluations versus Observations

Why and when is it important to speak about your observations and not your judgments?

Indian Philosopher J. Krishnamurti once said that  “observing without evaluating is the highest form of human intelligence”. This is a pretty loaded statement and I wanted to look at it further

What do we mean by our “evaluation” of someone or something? We mean our own thoughts, or beliefs. These have been taught us, or absorbed by us through our culture, our upbringing, our schooling, our religion and our experiences.

On the other hand when we talk about observations it is as if we are looking through the lens of a camera or a video camera. There is no personal interpretation, no comparison, no opinion, no evaluation and no diagnosis.  Certainly some of us will see some of the things in more detail or will notice more, but ultimately we can agree that we are seeing the same thing.

Why is it important to understand the impact of our evaluations? When we judge or evaluate someone they usually hear criticism and this blocks compassion and connection. This is particularly sad as it is usually happens to those closest to us. They tend to  receive the most criticism, (our partners, family and kids) and this is where our relationships break down and unravel.

Slowing down and being mindful about the way you speak to someone is important if you want to connect to them and be heard. In challenging conversations we can choose to be especially mindful and use our observations and not our evaluation of the situation. After all judgments cause wars and not just within the family