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Successful Leaders should Listen without Judgment, but is it true?

Listening without judgment is a phrase that we often hear when discussing leadership qualities. However, there are different ways to understand the term "judgment" in English, and it's crucial to clarify these definitions to avoid confusion.

Different type of "judgment"

According to Rosenberg (2001), one way to understand judgment is critical, and it is essential for our daily decision-making. In this sense, we use our judgment to determine what is conducive to life, what is good for our well-being, and what isn't. As leaders, we need to be able to make these value judgments to make informed decisions.

On the other hand, the other way of understanding judgment is more harmful. It's when we label someone in a way that implies they deserve blame and punishment. This type of judgment is often harmful, as it can lead to resentment, conflict, and a lack of trust.

So, the question remains, should successful leaders listen without judgment? The answer is not straightforward. Leaders need to be able to make value judgments, but they must also be aware of the harmful type of judgment that can create problems in the workplace.

As a leader, it's crucial to make the difference clear to your employees, colleagues, and family. By doing so, you can avoid misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page. It's important to listen to others' perspectives and opinions without labeling or blaming them. By doing so, you can create an environment of trust, respect, and understanding.


In conclusion, successful leaders should listen without harmful judgment. They should make value judgments when necessary but must be mindful of how they communicate with others. By doing so, they can create a positive and productive workplace where everyone feels valued and respected.


Rosenberg, M. B. (2001). Nonviolent communication: A language of life. Puddledancer Press.

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