Leadership, Personal Development, Motivation Blog Series
How often do we hear people use the word ‘unfair’ in their day to day conversations, or how often do we use it when interacting with others? I would say regularly, wouldn’t you agree? We expect from people with whom we interacting with to change their opinion or decision on something. Do they? I haven’t really seen any situation to be turned around when someone used the phrase ‘it’s not fair’. What you typically hear in return is detailed explanation as to why it is ‘fair’ based on facts, situation, or arguments presented at that particular point in time.
What perception the use of the phrase ‘it’s not fair’ may create?
When someone responds to the direction or assignment given with ‘it’s not fair,’ the perception given to the person giving direction may be that this person is not ready for such assignment, needs more development or training, has love confidence or competence, and prompts the desire to re-assign the task or project to someone else. The original recipient of the project in question may be very knowledgeable and competent to handle the task, however, the use of ‘it’s not fair’ may give a completely different message, and in turn, an opportunity to shine and show skills present may slip away rather quickly. Is this the type of reaction we are looking for from our colleagues and business leaders? I don’t believe so. If your goal is to learn and continue developing personally and professionally, then you may want to think twice before responding with ‘it’s not fair’ statement.
Be ready to face ‘unfair’ life situations
We cannot and should not expect for life to be ‘fair’ to us, and must be prepared to face life challenges when necessary. As John Spence said once: “If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you’re fooling yourself. That’s like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him.” This works the same way in business, there should be no expectation of fairness, instead, there should be mutually agreed to terms and success measures on by both sides, to ensure that business and revenue goals are met by both parties individually while working together as a team.
When the word ‘fair’ may be used?
The word ‘fair’ could also be very powerful when used in the proper context. One way to use ‘fair’ is when creating mutually agreeable terms between two business partners, to ensure that both parties agree and feel good about the agreement itself. For example: “To ensure that terms we agree to are fair and in line with our mutual business goals, the following points need to be clarified…” The use of the word ‘fair’ in such context creates a sense of trust and respect by both parties as you are not only considering own interests but also interests of your business client or partner. You are stating that being ‘fair’ is important to you, versus just getting the deal done regardless of consequences.
Self-reflect when you feel that someone is being ‘unfair’ towards you
When you ever feel as if someone is being ‘unfair’ to you, remember the quote about the lion mentioned earlier, and ask yourself why should the person in question be ‘fair’ to you. Ask yourself the following questions - why is this individual acts a certain way towards you or why specific words are used that make you feel ‘unfair’ while interacting with you? Perhaps, it’s not the other individual who is being ‘unfair’, instead, something that you are doing or saying that causes them to act in such manger or use certain words during interaction. In most situations by going through self-reflection exercise you will uncover situations, words, or actions created by your which allowed a specific person to think and act as they do. Here you have an opportunity to correct any prior misunderstandings and establish productive and positive working relationships with other people.
So, what is it going to be: “life is unfair”, or “I create the positive life I live in, not situations or people I encounter in life.” As always, the choice is yours.
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