Are Fair and Right the Same Thing?

There are certain topics where the end result and the decision making progress are fairly black and white. When it comes to feedback or building relationships with 1-on-1 meetings, I can be definitive and give concrete advice.

Fairness is not one of those topics. Which makes the question of fair being right a difficult thing to explain. I believe that most of the time, when you are being fair you are doing the right thing. But sometimes the right thing isn't always fair.

For example, look at large retail organizations and the working remotely culture that is now taking hold. Is it fair that some people don't have the option to work remotely? No. Is it the right thing? Yes. When operating a retail location, you have to have set hours. You can't tell workers "come in when you like" because you have a commitment to the customer. The same can be said for the factory worker.

I think back to when I was younger and I would tell my mother something wasn't fair. Her response was always "I never promised you a rose garden", which was a reference to a popular song in the 70s.

As a manager, your goal is to be honest and admit things. If something isn't right or fair, admit it. Work to change it, but never make it seem like it is the opposite of what it really is.