This is my absolute favorite thing to talk about, so I thought it only appropriate to start here in PD Perspectives! Now, those of you who know me are aware that my No Judgment Zone is always accompanied with grand gestures around me to give the visual of the literal space that is safe for everyone to enter. I love my No Judgment Zone for so many reasons (aside from the laughs I get when I try to demonstrate it), and I do my best to carry it with me wherever I go. To me, there’s nothing better than providing a safe place for people to share their views, explore the possibilities, and create a path for growth. Here are a few things about it that you should know…..
- For Families: Listen, folks, you all have a hard job. You are making decisions minute-to-minute, day in and day out, about how to shape the lives of your children. This is no small feat! People today are not shy about sharing their opinions about what you’re doing – bottle or breast, thumb or paci, stay at home or work outside of home or work from home, home school or public school or private school….the list goes on and on, and there’s usually more criticism and shame than support and encouragement involved. It takes a lot of energy to worry about what everyone else is doing and then tell other people how they should be living their lives, and I just am not interested in that. My job is to figure out what’s important to you and encourage you to make the decisions you feel are right for you and only you. Sure, I have some knowledge and experience about a lot of things, but I’m not here to dump all of that onto you. You’re more important than that, and you deserve a huge No Judgment Zone where you can settle in and really think about what you want to do next. I’m only there to provide information when you need it and cheer you on!
- For Professionals: I have been blessed to have worked with so many organizations that supported my professional development journey, and I will always be so grateful for that! I am fully aware, though, that those supports don’t seem to exist in some places. It’s important for me to provide my No Judgment Zone when I am working with other professionals because we all have different ideas, perspectives, and experiences, and we need to be able to share those accordingly. When I’m providing more specific professional development opportunities, it’s even more important! Professionals need to know that they’re allowed to learn new things and ask questions without being judged by me or anyone else in the room. In fact, the No Judgment Zone is one of the first things I talk about when I start a training, and I let everyone know that I will protect that always.
- For Agencies: When I think about an agency’s role in supporting an inclusive community, I picture the levels of commitment that it takes to move in the right direction for families. This is probably one of the biggest No Judgment Zones of all because it has to include everyone involved, from the most enthusiastic to the ones digging in their heels the hardest. The awesome thing, though, is in finding the strengths, encouraging a positive perspective, and seeing agencies build their teams to come together and move. Even baby steps count, and boy, do I love celebrating those!
This is really just a taste of the No Judgment Zone (enter waving arms here), and I’ll keep talking about it because it’s probably the single-most important part of what I do. When have you felt like you were part of a No Judgment Zone, or maybe felt like you needed to be in one? Tell me what you think, and remember that my No Judgment Zone is always here for you!
Until next time…..