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Do's and Don'ts When You Are Accused of Being Unfair

When you use your judgement, people will question it. How you respond to those questions has an impact on the overall relationship. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts.

  1. Do listen respectfully and actively. The employee’s concern is a valid feeling and not listening will not reflect well on you.

  2. Do thank them for sharing their feelings and let them know that you appreciate being able to have a dialogue on the topic.

  3. Do explain your reasons, again if necessary. Try to be as transparent as possible. If you and the employee disagree about something, that is OK, but acknowledge it.

  4. Don’t get dragged into an argument. Most times, judgement calls do not have a clear right and wrong. An argument just creates bad feelings.

  5. Don’t change your mind simply to end a conversation. By being someone who can be “worn down”, you hurt your relationship with everyone on the team.

  6. Do change your mind if it is warranted. If the case by the employee is truly convincing, then show that you are an adult.

  7. Do consider responding later, after you have had time to think about it. This gives you time to think rationally and get your thoughts together. It also shows that you respected the employee enough to truly consider it.

  8. Don’t say you will think about it and respond later just as a way to end the conversation. It will be clear that you didn’t think about it when you return to the subject. That will also damage the relationship.

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