Restorative Justice Circles affirming worth and remove defenses.

In a discussion about civility, someone used the phase “pre-judge”.  Reflecting upon the shortcoming of making assumptions about other people.  I started thinking about the difference between judging and pre-judging.  I don’t think there is much of a difference, being judged is no fun.

On the flip side, we all have defenses built up to those judgements.  When people think that I can’t do something, I get frustrated.  I have a defense.  I want and need to be percieved as competent and capable.  Yes, I know, I should get to therapy for my perfectionism.

I also had a defense about being a single parent.  If I thought I was being judged, it tapped my defenses.  When we operate from a place of being defensive, we aren’t usually being very kind.

In the You Tube video below, Stephen Covey talks about the power of the talking stick.  Who am I to disagree with International guru Stephen Covey, but I am going to.  I got defensive about the talking piece and need to speak my peace on that.

In the video he mentions a pencil would do.  It could.  However, I believe that the talking piece should be an item of value.  You can place value on something by sharing it’s meaning.  You can pick up a rock and say, this is a talking piece, here are the rules.  Or you can relate a story about where you got the rock, why it has meaning to you.  Making meaning and giving items significance is a common human experience.  It generates connection to know you are holding someone elses touchstone.  Check out the category “talking pieces” on the blog.

Covey talks about how the talking piece provides work, potential and affirmation when we listen.  He explains how it breaks down defenses.  That is exactly what I have experienced.  The person who shared a shortcoming of “pre-judging” might have meant, until he listens he doesn’t really know the other person.  As I have blogged before you teach empathy, by teaching listening.

The covey video:

 [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5aszu84FLM]