How Mardi Gras Can Inspire You to Toss Out Favoritism for Justice and be a Better Boss

January 14, 2019

If you’re not already aware, the colors of Mardi Gras–purple, green, and gold–each have a meaning ascribed to them. Today we’re focusing on purple, a color that typically represents royalty, but it terms of Mardi Gras, actually symbolizes justice. Let’s talk about that!

Fairness is fundamental to maintaining stasis in the workplace. As a leader, there’s not much wiggle room when it comes to staying objective. Though exercising your power or choosing favorites can seem tempting at times, both are mistakes that will foster distrust and create tension between you and your team.

Here are 5 tips that will help you be fair and just manager:

1. Model the ideal. Don’t just instruct others to be fair–put fairness into practice in everything that you do. Lead the way by example and your team will follow suit.

2. Forget about favoritism. Each player on your team is valuable in their own distinct way. By recognizing that, it becomes easier to ensure everyone is treated rationally, and more important, equally. Don’t always give the best projects to your star player. Everyone deserves a chance to shine, and playing favorites can often sew feelings of resentment between co-workers.

3. Tell the truth. Keeping an honest dialogue open helps employees feel comfortable seeking you out for advice, issues, and support. By communicating clearly, and ensuring everyone receives the same level of information (within reason), you’re treating your team as equals — and that’s something most people will appreciate.

4. Be reasonable. Rules are rules… except, not always. Situations that arise aren’t always going to present themselves in a way that’s totally binary. In other words, there’s not always a clear standard for what is considered “right” or “wrong” behavior. Always be willing to re-evaluate guidelines set forth in your workplace. If something on the books ultimately doesn’t make sense, consider making an exception or adjustment.

5. Be generous with your time. Create space on your calendar for 1-on-1’s with your employees where they have a chance to feel valued and be heard. Even if you’re not always able to provide immediate resolve for them, the mere act of listening will have an impact of how they perceive you.

Employees will always have a certain expectation of a fair and just workplace — and rightfully so. As a leader it’s your job to create an environment where they feel comfortable. Although these tips alone won’t cause a seismic shift overnight–because there’s no secret formula to being the perfect boss–they’re incremental steps you can take toward a happier, more productive krewe.


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