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A Question of Judgement – Rosie Barfoot, Training for Results Ltd


‘Shall I have coffee now…. Is this the right person to employ….Should we merge with that company?’ are just some of the decisions we face. They can be from the simple to the complex. The number of decisions you have to make in any day and the impact they can have, requires good judgement. We are making judgements all the time and often take the process for granted.

The term judgement in this instance refers to a far wider context than decision making. It also includes how a person interacts with people and their respective environment.  It is with this information that you are able to predict performance and identify potential risks and barriers to success.

Edward de Bono stated that:

the quality of our thinking will determine the quality of our future’.

A Capgemini survey (2004) of senior managers for major companies showed that they made 20 business critical decisions/year and 24% of the decisions that they made were wrong, by their own admission. The cost is enormous.

Poor judgement puts your business at risk through:

  • Costly mistakes
  • Unsafe employees
  • Poor hiring
  • Lower profitability
  • Poor ethics and values
  • Loss of reputation

Quality outcomes in business rely on an individual’s good judgement. 

Nobel Prize nominee, Dr Robert S Hartman, established in the early 1970’s a formula for obtaining quality outcomes. 

Quality outcomes = (competent skills sets + competent processes + good information) x good judgement

If your business can successfully develop people with competent skill sets, and provide sound processes with accurate and adequate information necessary; and your people have good judgement; then you will gain better quality outcomes.

Bad judgement often negates superior skills and processes. However, good judgement can off-set poor skills and processes. Developing better quality judgement is therefore good for business.

It starts with the value system

Crucial to this judgement in any business process is an individual’s value system. This is not something a person has, it is a summation of who they are and a result of their journey to this point. This evolves throughout our lives and is influenced by every event, experience and individual who touches our lives. Our value system is manifested in a number of ways and will ultimately impact on the way we make the decisions we do.

The media has been filled recently with examples of senior leaders demonstrating a poor value system, which has had serious repercussions on brand value.

Building on the value system

The way we assess and evaluate information will ultimately impact on the decisions we make. Hartman identified some 35 factors that influence our judgement. This enabled him to develop the Judgment Index™; a values based assessment tool. 

If you take the time and use whatever tools are necessary or available, you can start to understand your position, your stance and the reasoning behind the decisions you make. You can recognise your strengths and where you can improve. This ultimately benefits yourself and the business.

Reducing Stress

We live in a hectic world, where technology can seem to control our lives. Getting a work life balance can be difficult, especially when you run your own business. Our judgement can be seriously affected if we are not coping with personal stress.

If you want better outcomes for your business, then it is time to think about your thinking. You can develop better judgement for better outcomes. Whether you do is down to your judgement call.

kim.jpgRosie Barfoot is a trainer and performance coach, specialising in leadership development. She is accredited to deliver the Judgement Index, has a passion for improving mental resilience and the power of the mind in the workplace. 

Contact information: : 01305 261540:

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