Thursday, August 13, 2015

Observe ? Evaluate ?

I've never seen a lazy man;
I've seen a man who never ran
while I watched him, and I've seen 
a man who sometimes slept between
lunch and dinner, and who'd stay
at home upon a rainy day,
but he was not a lazy man.
Before you call me crazy,
think, was he a lazy man or
did he just do things we label "lazy"?


This is a poem by Ruth Bebermeyer in the book, "Non Violent Communication", describing the difference between observation and evaluation. Like in the poem above, is someone doing activities that are labelled as lazy or is he/she a lazy man ? More often than not, we judge and evaluate while observing any incident. But, when we combine observation with evaluation, it gets heard as criticism. 

The author, Marshall B. Rosenberg continues to differentiate observation and evaluation with another poem

Tell me that you are disappointed
with the unfinished chores you see,
But calling me "irresponsible"
is no way to motivate me.



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