An unfair advantage? Is fairness subjective or is it a fact?
People often learn something about fairness at an early age. The accuracy of what they learn may be questionable.
The older sibling gets new clothes, the younger may just get hand-me-downs. The older gets their own cell phone, laptop, or a later bedtime, is that fair? Who would you ask, the parents or one of the children? Would each child have a different view on what is fair?
What is fair in business? Should one business slow down or limit business to give another a chance to catch up?
Is it unfair for only one employee to be promoted when three other employees wanted the job?
What about workload? Does every employee have an equal amount of workload?
There is a scapegoat. The scapegoat is, “Life isn’t fair.”
Perhaps if things work out the way you imagined, it seems fair. If things haven’t gone so well, it isn’t.
If fairness is a mindset and you feel disadvantaged, can you change your plight? Maybe someone else controls your vision of fairness? A boss, a rule, or a law.
It seems pretty clear that fairness is much more of an opinion than it is a fact.
It may be your opinion that the client should have chosen you. Was it fair, or are you just disappointed?
When you feel like you’ve worked harder for the promotion, put in longer hours, and sacrificed your family and friends along the way, only to get bumped out of the role by a new hire, was it fair? Would you like another chance to explain why you’re the best candidate?
If the hiring manager could only see what you offer more clearly, would he or she have made a different choice?
Fair or unfair may be nothing more than your point of view.
In most matters for your job, career, or workplace navigation fairness is subjective. When you feel things are unfair, try to view it from the other person’s perspective. The solution for how to do it better or different the next time is likely waiting for you there.
And that should be, fair enough.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.