In our culture, the word judgment isn’t thrown around positively much anymore. People say, “don’t judge me!” for eating a whole sleeve of Oreos or an entire pizza (no judgment here!) or go to a gym that boasts a “no judgment zone.” This kind of judgment or shaming or condemnation is not the kind of judgment we’re talking about here. 

We’re talking about value-based decision-making skills. Having good judgment means you have a certain set of values and that your values determine the kinds of decisions you make. You might think this is quantifiable in all those personality assessments you can find, and even take, for free online. And these assessments—like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, DISC, 16 Personality Factor, and the Enneagram—are good tools. But personality assessments can only take you sof ar. They cannot tell you someone’s values or moral principles. 

For example, you can get a personality assessment on every single person sitting on death row. What if one of them has your same personality? What’s the difference? You’ve made better choices because of your judgment and your values—so far. 😉

What Is Judgment?

Judgment isn’t about judging people’s life choices or casting shame on non-essential decisions like Oreos and pizza. It’s about your values—those points on your moral compass that direct your decisions. For example, if you value human life, you probably aren’t a murderer on death row. (That’s good.) 

But up until the mid-twentieth century, judgment wasn’t quantifiable. It was just kind of an ethereal, undefined aspect of a person. It wasn’t something we could measure. Until in the 1960s, Robert S. Hartman, philosopher and axiologist (someone who studies values), created theories and tools for determining and measuring values. A german by birth, Hartman spoke out against the Nazis before World War II, and eventually immigrated to the United States. Having watched Hitler’s strategic de-valuing of human life, Hartman’s distaste for Hitler and the Nazi partly drove his study of values; he wanted to be part of something good by improving the world through the study and quantification of values.  

The Hartman Value Profile was designed in the 1960s as a way to measure a person’s values and belief systems. Hartman was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize shortly before his death in 1973. 

The Judgment Index

The Hartman Value Profile is the foundational theory and tool for the Judgment Index, a modern-day tool for measuring a person’s judgment. Through the Judgment Index, measuring judgment is not as subjective as it once was. It’s not a psychological profile, an intelligence evaluation, or a personality assessment. It goes beyond simply knowing someone’s personality, reaction tendencies, and dispositions. The Judgment Index allows you to gain quantifiable insight on someone’s relational, tactical, and strategic abilities, and see how balanced they are in making judgments.  

The Judgment Index aids companies and organizations in finding the right fit for their employee needs. By learning how someone’s values line up, you can see how they might fit—or might not fit—in your organization or on your team for the position you’re looking to fill. The Judgment Index does not determine their worth as a person, but rather if their values align with your values, and if those values also point to them being a good fit for the position. 

In addition to giving your team and organization insight on a potential employee’s values, the Judgment Index also helps you measure the level of engagement all your team members have. Index results produce scores on 12 different categories: tolerance, dependability, patience, view of work, morale, drive, motivation, role satisfaction, self-esteem, life balance, personal stressors, and professional stressors. (We’ll explore the Judgment Index in further detail in upcoming blogs.)

Bart Justice is an Accredited JI Associate and is certified to administer and interpret JI results from your team and help your team find insight for hiring and engagement. Connect with Bart for more information on how to get started using the Judgment Index. 

We’ll even bring some Oreos.