It is easy to jump to judgment. In fact, it can be difficult not to, particularly when an individual is making choices you never would or you know they should not. This often comes up in Mentoring, as for example a Fellow struggling financially makes a large, seemingly unnecessary purchase or finds fault with a job they just started.
However, in these moments of judgment, we rarely take the time to consider the whole picture, the whole person. Why was the purchase made? What does it mean to the Fellow? Is the conflict at work legitimate or are there underlying issues - past trauma - that may impact decisions. And what else is going on? What is taking up space in this person’s every day that might not leave room for other concerns. Just because an issue is standing out to you, doesn’t mean it is to them.
That doesn’t mean that a Mentor (or anyone) cannot address questionable actions, but it does mean that they should not do so rashly. The short gasp of judgment should be followed by a deep breath of learning and understanding. Only when we take time to see the whole person - past, present and future - can we truly connect and support them.