I have a friend who helps separated husbands reconnect with their wives. He has my admiration—his program helps hundreds of men and has saved countless marriages!
I am blessed with a wonderful husband of 25 years. But I always watch Randy’s videos on LinkedIn—I find that the vast majority of them are applicable to all relationships, personal and professional included.
The one he posted recently is no exception. It’s called “The Harsh Reality of Relationships,” and it’s about fairness.
Essentially, we are taught to be fair to others. To give, to share, to be kind.
In most cases, others will reciprocate.
But, as Randy points out, “If you expect everything and everyone to be FAIR to you, you’re gonna be majorly disappointed.”
In business, we’re also taught to give (our time, energy), to share (files, information), and to be kind (polite, helpful).
As professionals, we would like our colleagues and clients to be fair, in turn.
And it doesn’t always happen.
We can get thrown under the bus. We struggle with colleagues who hold tight to information (to the detriment of the project or work being done). And we’re given the brush-off when we desperately need some help.
I can’t tell you why this happens, but it’s disappointing. However, the real trouble comes when we expect everyone to live up to our level of fairness and start resenting those who don’t. We begin to ask, “What’s in it for me?” or “Why should I waste my time?” when faced with a request for information or assistance.
Obviously, this is not the way we to live, and not the way we would want to be treated.
We can’t always avoid unfair or uncaring people at work. So how do we maintain our positive attitude and keep moving forward?
The ability to be fair despite the challenges comes from self-confidence. When we act without expecting anything in return, we grow.
That’s not to say we should let people walk all over us—confidence also includes standing up for ourselves! Acting fairly with everyone shows strength of character.
And I have always found that sticking to my principles simply because “it’s the right thing to do” pays off in the long run.
Because at the end of the day, even if your colleagues don’t reciprocate, you’ll attain a reputation for fairness far beyond your immediate project or department. It could be months or even years later, but someone will have noticed and want you on their team.
So keep helping out, putting in that extra effort, communicating, and staying polite and professional.
As Randy’s video subtitle proclaims, “You CAN Do This!”