My last few blogs have been based around the 5 domains that our brains treat on the same plane as survival; status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness and finally, fairness.
When these domains are triggered in a negative manner we draw upon the reptilian brain and we become threatened and begin to feel ‘unsafe’ in our environment. When these domains are driven in a negative way at work its hard for employees to perform well and collaborate alongside others with warmth and openness.
Learning how to drive a positive response within the 5 brain domains is crucial to improving the workplace climate and enhancing the levels of creativeness, cohesiveness, commitment and productivity within your team.
The importance of fairness
When unfairness strikes in the workplace, tasks require more effort to actually execute them, goals and outcomes don’t come as easily and teamwork can become awkward or non-existent. That’s because of this obvious truth; to get anything done brilliantly in the workplace, requires people collaborating. When we trigger an ‘unfairness’ response within someone, we also send off the same alarms bells that say ‘you’re a foe not a friend’ and ‘ can I trust this person?!’.
A sense of fairness gone out the window
While we can work so hard to build collaboration with people, years of relationship and trust can go out the window when perhaps:
- Someone is not involved in the upcoming project after years of working together
- Leaders never follow through on their intentions
- You help a colleague out or go the extra mile for them but when the chance arrives for them to return it, they don’t
- Someone brand new in the team takes your role in the project because the manager knew them and once worked with them at a differently company
- Actions taken are not explained with openness and transparency
- Individuals in the same team are all treated differently; incentives, rewards, or privileges
Experiencing any one of these scenarios heightens feelings of betrayal, loss of loyalty, bitterness, anger or even indifference towards that person(s), impacting the workplace climate.
When leaders and teams are more aware of the feelings of unfairness that can be produced in a workplace, they can become mindful of the events that trigger this response and seek to mange them more effectively.
Knowing how to develop an awareness to fairness as well as being able to manage it when it is triggered personally goes a long way to enhance the effectiveness of a team being able to pull together.
Great questions to strengthen your mindfulness around this domain:
- In what ways are you staying open and transparent in your dealings with people?
- Are you open and transparent in dealing with each of your individual team members?
- Are rewards given to some that are noted by others as unfair?
As we have now discussed the 5 drivers of behaviour and have brought this series to a close, my questions for you are:
- What are you trying to accomplish this year?
- What do you think you would need to do in order to double your employees engagement and ultimately lead you to the accomplishment of this pursuit?
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