Fairness affects many areas of the life. And yet, even though there’s consensus that things should be fair, it doesn’t always turn out that way. That’s because some folks have no purpose of being fair; others assess fairness based on how something affects them rather than considering how they’d feel if the functions were reversed. Are you fair? Next time you determine whether things like a deal, a penalty, an incentive, or a decision are reasonable and equitable, take the shoe-on-the-other-foot test. How would you feel if the tables were switched?
- Does everyone play by the exact same set of rules ?
- Can there be a level playing field or even do some people have a special benefit?
- Does everyone have equal access or even do some folks march to the front of the line?
- Are decision manufacturers impartial — honest, objective, and trustworthy?
- Are rewards based on advantage and tangible results or even some arbitrary criteria?
- Do people get what they are worthy of ?
It’s interesting how rapidly people get upset when they’ve been treated improperly. But shouldn’t the same outrage apply if someone else has been treated unfairly?
Put Yourself to the Test
Think about situations that you simply face every day. Is it fair if someone:
- gets a within the, receives preferential treatment, or is handsomely rewarded — without earning it?
- is unfairly designated, unjustly accused, or defamed by an angry masses — while the real reason gets off scot-free?
- is ridiculed simply by family members, shunned by buddies, or bullied on social media — because they don’t conform to the same beliefs and beliefs?
- is purchased to follow the rules, swallow their pride, and change long-standing behaviors — while the bureaucrats who seem to create the rules exempt by themselves?
- works their particular tail off, hits the particular ball out of the park, but still get passed over for your promotion — because advancement is based on nepotism, popularity, period, or fixed quotas instead of performance and tangible outcomes?
Just how Would You Feel If the Functions Were Reversed?
I’m sure you can come plan real-world scenarios that you encounter. While every situation might not always turn out to be fair, the main thing is to try to do what is right. In other words, before you judge any situation, take the shoe-on-the-other-foot test and imagine how you would feel if the situation had been reversed.
- Is the process fair?
- Are the rules getting fairly applied?
- Is the agreement equitable?
- Are people being treated decently?
- Are folks being mistakenly accused?
- Are people being pressured to conform ?
- Are folks being mocked and bullied?
- Is everyone receiving equal treatment?
- Is freedom of expression being protected?
- Is the approval procedure fair and objective?
- Are people being discriminated against?
- Are some folks receiving a good unfair advantage?
- Did the winners earn the trophy?
- Are people held responsible for their behavior?
- Are folks being looked down upon?
- Are people’s beliefs plus values being trampled?
- Does the consequence fit the “crime”?
- Are folks getting unfairly penalized?
- Is the reward based on goal criteria?
- Does everyone have an equal opportunity?
The Importance of Empathy
“ Originally , shoemakers made shoes entirely by hand and each shoe would be the exact same and fit either feet. During the 1800s cobblers began making shoes that were specific to the left and right footwear so that if a shoe were placed on the wrong foot, it had been quite uncomfortable. ” Having said that, if the shoe is on the wrong foot, the obvious thing to do is to change it. By the same reasoning, if someone else is being roughed up, it’s time for a change as well.
That’s the way it is, doesn’t mean that’s the way it has to become.
It’s hard to see the world with blinders on. So challenge you to ultimately see the light. This isn’t a test where you hand in your examination and receive a grade. This test is self-graded — based on the honor system. You might never be able to walk a mile in a man’s shoes, but at least you can give it a try. Ask yourself whether things are fair and equitable — and take the necessary steps to make things right. After all, each step forward is a foot in the right direction.
Ready to Take the-Shoe-on-the-Other-Foot-Test?
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