Build a Judgement-Free Environment

As a See Me as a Person facilitator and leader, Tina Martin, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Magnet Program Coordinator Lancasterjudgement-free-zone General Health/Penn Medicine sends out weekly thoughts for sharing in huddles or email communications.  We wanted to share this “thought for the week.”  It is a wonderful example of how leaders can re-mind us to step out of auto-pilot reactive thinking/behavior and be intentionally non-judging. 

We all deserve a “judgment free environment.” A fitness chain even advertises that they have a “judgement-free zone” so people feel comfortable exercising without being labeled. It can be easy to fall into the labeling trap. We know “we can’t judge a book by its cover” but we often do. We judge people by their appearance, by the way they talk, by their behavior. We develop preconceived notions before we really get to know a person.

Think of all the labels we place on our patients. We judge them by the amount of times they use their call bell, by the frequency of their hospital admissions, by their addiction disease. Sometimes these labels can create an unsafe environment for our patient, especially when we label our patient by their room number or a diagnosis, without using their name. What about labels we place on our colleagues? We sometimes label an entire department because of the actions of one person.

We all deserve to work and receive care in a “judgement-free environment.”  For today, stop using labels to refer to other people and encourage your colleagues to do the same. You will be amazed at how this change in behavior will leave your mind open to wondering about your colleagues and your patients…and seeing them as a person.