Several months ago I was given my yearly performance review. I don’t know how everyone feels about these but I always appreciate the feedback (even if it stings hearing) and like the opportunity to learn and grow from this. This year my supervisor did something a little different involving a 360 evaluation. A feedback form was given to two individuals that report to me, two that I report to and two that I work laterally with. I found the feedback to be extremely eye-opening and I feel this is a positive way to perform all performance evals in any organization.
That said I was a little surprised at one of the trends and it had to do with fairness. Now before I go much further into this I will state that my eval went very well. I was strong in each area of the feedback form and I was dare I say, proud of the wonderful ways in which my colleagues valued my contributions to our school. The one area that was consistently lower though was fairness and I was really confused to say the least. I will admit, my first thought was, “really, how can I be more fair?”. I’m always accommodating and reasonable. In fact sometimes I thought I was too accommodating. I went away from that evaluation pleased and slightly perplexed. My supervisor encouraged me to think about the fairness score and maybe write a brief essay on my thoughts on it. She suggested that I take an issue and write for the opposing side but I have trouble with that because I can always see both sides which to me indicated that I didn’t have a problem with fairness. But for some reason it was being indicated as an area of growth for me. So, I pondered and pondered and thought and well, you get the idea.
Then one day I had a thought and went back to basics. I looked up the word fair in the dictionary, I mean I figured I knew what it meant but I wasn’t making any progress so decided it was worth checking out. This is what I read,
free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice: a fair decision; a fair judge.legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, etc.; proper under the rules: a fair fight.moderately large; ample: a fair income.neither excellent nor poor; moderately or tolerably good: fair health.marked by favoring conditions; likely; promising: in a fair way to succeed. – Dictionary.com