Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Three Questions to Assess a Person’s Fairness

Fairness is one of the most significant traits in wisdom, the fairer you are, the wiser you become.
Fairness means to be unprejudiced, equitable, impartial, objective, dispassionately examining, and open-minded. Fairness is both digital leadership and professional quality and a culture characteristic to improve professionalism and digital maturity. People are much purposeful, creative and productive under a positive and fair working environment. Which questions should you ask to assess a person’s fairness?

Do you have a judgmental mind? Today’s digital workforce is diverse both from heart and mind, not just the outlook on the surface. Have you ever judged the book by its cover? Have you ever mislabelled, or over-analyzed others? Have you always kept extreme thinking to judge “good or bad,” have you paid too much attention to trivial or insignificant details, with ignorance of important aspects or big picture? To be fair and less judgmental takes self-awareness and insightful observation, tolerance and inclusiveness. We need to know and admit to our prejudices, yes, we all have them. Then it takes a conscious effort to set them aside, hold them in abeyance, and engage with the individual. It makes sense not to be prejudiced. Not to go from a group label to a preconceived opinion about individuals that impact if and how we relate to them, whether we start out comfortable and trusting or uncomfortable and suspicious. Seeing differences as just different and not as a confirmation of some preconception. Be intellectually curious to understand how people think, not just how they look, be insightful to understand people from different angles and be inclusive to appreciate cognitive difference and different point of view to approach problems and spark creativity. It’s important to consciously limit the influence of our own biases. Perception is sometimes a false reality. To find the truth, one must remove the “old box” shaped via conventional wisdom or group thinking, but think more critically, independently and in an out-of-box way.

Can you often make the objective observation and sound judgment? According to the dictionary: being objective means you are not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; but make judgment or decisions based on unbiased fact, dispassionate examination, and an objective opinion. Absolute objectivity is perhaps impossible to achieve. Being objective is of or relating to something that can be known, or to something that is an object or a part of an object; existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality. We are social beings with individual histories built upon both our own experiences and the life stories of those around us. However, relative objectivity is a continual process in which we skirt the edge of what is possible. To be objective, one must step out of what one is trying to understand, to zoom out in order to capture the holistic picture, otherwise, your false perception based on the construct of your ego or self-expression could block the way and cloud the view.

Are you surrounded by the group of people with a cognitive difference to provide good feedback in keeping you Impartial: Impartial means adjective neutral, objective, detached, just, fair, equal, open-minded, equitable, disinterested, unbiased, even-handed, nonpartisan, unprejudiced, without fear or favor. It is the opposite of biases and stereotypes. Unfortunately, biases and stereotyping are how humans cope with larger numbers of other humans than we could ever know. However, when you get down to the smaller group and individual level, these biases and stereotypes have to be thoroughly tested. Most often they are in the form of attributing behaviors to internal, something someone should be able to do something about, and external, something a person has no control over factors. People are often third eye blind regardless of how aware you believe you are, your biases will always direct that decision. So the peer feedback can help uncover one’s biases. You need to be surrounded with people with cognitive differences, they can provide honest, friendly and worthy feedback, particularly in a decision process. Having an honest sounding board that will tell you when your own issues are getting the way, is critical when you are dealing with the important issues.

“Being fair” is a mentality which takes multilevel thinking practices to gain wisdom. Because sometimes in order to be truly fair, you need to treat others the same by treating them differently. Also, the action and behavior to reflect fairness need to be encouraged via open communication, let individuals embrace their bias by sharing it with others in a non-threatening context. This can help to build a fair working environment and build a culture of inclusiveness and innovation.


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