We all have a strong sense of fairness and justice. If we perceive that we are being treated unfairly, we automatically become defensive. If we perceive we have been treated fairly, even if the situation is not a pleasant one, we are more likely to be cooperative.
Our need for fairness can be so strong that we might be willing to fight or die for causes we believe are just.
Many of us experience internal rewards from doing volunteer work because in our own minds it decreases the unfairness of the world.
The Science Behind This…
Brain studies show that an experience of fairness produces reward responses similar to those that occur from eating chocolate!
Conversely, an experience of unfairness generates a strong response in the limbic system, stirring hostility and undermining trust.
What can I do to be seen to be fair?
1. A handshake, swapping names and discussing something in common, be it just the weather, may increase feeling of closeness by causing the release of oxytocin.
2. Treat everyone equally.
3. Be transparent about decisions.
4. Don’t show favourites.
5. Ensure clear ground rules and stick to them.