Welcome to the Judge Academy lesson on “Being Approachable”. It can often be difficult for a judge to approach someone who is in a position of authority, either an explicit one, like a Team Lead or Head Judge role, or implicit, such as a difference in certification level or experience in as a judge. While not everyone has the same experiences, it is important to recognize that other people may be intimidated by individuals in positions of authority, even if you don’t feel the same way.
Being approachable is more than just being open to communication. It’s also being trusted with that communication and trusted to be respectful. This covers a wide range of scenarios such as:
- a judge who is new to a task and doesn’t know what to do
- an experienced judge who is working on their next certification and looking for guidance
- someone who has a problem with another judge or a TO and doesn’t know how to handle the situation
- being approached because of your reputation
In all of these situations, it’s not only important to listen and help but to be able to encourage folks to approach you when appropriate. Sometimes you’re chosen because of your role in the chain of command – such as being their team leader when they’re asking about how to complete a task.
This module will be useful in many situations and help you become more comfortable in your communication with people at all levels.