I was recently treated to the above quotation while reading a chapter entitled "Lessons from the Masters" in Wynton Marsalis' book: Moving to Higher Ground -- How Jazz Can Change Your Life. Having been a hard working, professional club musician in an earlier life, the truth and simple elegance of this statement has given me pause. The Performing Arts Industry resembles the density of a black-hole when it comes to just about all aspects of human behavior. Imagine being with your co-workers, in close quarters (cars, vans, buses, motel rooms, and restaurants) most all of your waking hours and then walking onto a cramped, wire strewn, brightly lit platform for 5-8 hours/night and performing your job functions in perfect unison with those same people. Needless to say, extreme circumstances quickly expose the best and worst in all of us and it can be challenging in deed to overcome petty annoyances in the interest of maximizing personal and group performance.
I'm reminded of how equally relevant this matter of precluding personal judgments is in the work place today. The down economy contributes to our daily stress and, as is true with all distractions, can deflect our focus and creativity away from our work. Actively refusing to pass personal judgment on those with whom we must interact and work with daily can be a wonderful tool and example for improving not only our own productivity, but that of those around us.
Perhaps this insightful gem can be helpful in shutting out some workplace noise and improving overall performance.