To study the Buddha way is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things.
~Dogen Zenji

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by Bobby Werner

Separate Observation from Evaluation


Communication


Example of observation
with evaluation mixed in


Example of observation separate from evaluation

1. Use of verb to be without indication that the evaluator accepts responsibility for the evaluation

You are too generous.

When I see you give all your lunch money to others I think you are the being too generous.

2. Use of verbs with evaluative connotations

Doug
procrastinates.

Doug only studies for exams the night before.

3. Implication that one's inferences about another person's thoughts, feelings, intentions, or desires are the only ones possible

She won't get her work in.

I don't think she'll get her work in. or She said, 'I won't get my work in.

4. Confusion of prediction with
certainty

If you don't eat balanced meals, your health will be impaired.

If you don't eat balanced meals, I fear that your health may be impaired

5. Failure to be specific about referents

Minorities don't
take care of their property

I have not seen the minority family living at 1679 Ross shovel the snow on their sidewalk.

6. Use of words denoting ability
without indicating that an evaluation is being made

Hank Smith is a poor soccer player.

Hank Smith has not scored a goal in 20 games.

7. Use of adverb and adjectives in ways that do not signify an evaluation has been made

Jim is ugly.

Jim's looks don't appeal to me.

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