Of all the positive traits a leader can possess, the ability to be fair and equitable in the most challenging of circumstances is a crucial one. A leader who is able to ensure that everyone on their team is being treated fairly is someone who has the ability to see things from an objective perspective and to solve problems creatively.
Employees are also more likely to respect a leader who makes a conscious effort to treat everyone fairly and holds themselves accountable to the same standards as well. Below, nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council share the most important questions they ask themselves when they want to be sure that they’re leading their teams in a fair and equitable way.
Q. What’s one question you regularly ask yourself to ensure you’re being a fair, equitable leader? Why is this an important thing to do?
1. Why Did I Make That Decision?
Regularly asking myself “Why did I make that decision?” regarding employees is an essential part of my routine. It can be easy for a leader to make a snap or knee-jerk judgment and assume they made this choice for a good reason. It is only upon further reflection that we may find that a personal bias or uninformed assumption was clouding our ability to make the right choice. – Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC
2. Do I See It From Their Point of View?
You need empathy to understand what motivates your team from their perspective — not only how you see it. An additional piece of leading with empathy is recognizing your own limitations. Leading with empathy is seeing another person’s point of view, as you understand it to be, and acting in accordance. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
3. Did I Check Everyone’s Opinion?
Always ask yourself if you’ve checked everyone’s opinion. My team and I work in different parts of the world, so our schedules often don’t coincide. That is why we use simple applications like Slack and Trello where everyone can openly comment on everything, whether it is a large project that concerns us all or the progress of an individual task. This allows me to review all perspectives and weigh the best thing to do. – Kevin Ryan Tao, NeuEve
4. Does Everyone Have the Tools to Succeed?
Make sure you ask yourself, “Does everyone on the team have the tools or teaching they need in order to succeed?” As a leader, you need to make sure there’s access to informational tools and resources as well as mentorship for the team. When the team has a fair and equitable workplace, it establishes a competitive and collaborative environment in which everyone benefits. – Liam Leonard, DML Capital
5. Am I Communicating Clearly With My Team?
Before blaming your team members for any shortcomings, consider whether or not you properly communicated your expectations. A lot of the time, poor communication is the root of the issue rather than incompetence or laziness. Tell your team exactly what you expect from them and what kind of progress you want to see so they’re prepared. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
6. Am I Open to Hearing New Ideas?
I ask myself if I’m open to hearing new ideas from everyone in the organization. Do I give all team members the same chance to shine and excel at their job? Have I asked how they’re experiencing their current work situation and what we, as a company, could do better? Not being afraid to ask these questions and hearing them out is important to be an equitable leader. – Benjamin Rojas, All in One SEO
7. Am I Doing Everything I Can?
If you want to know if you’re being a fair, equitable leader, ask yourself if you’re doing everything you can to help your team members succeed. We often get blind spots from working on the same tasks day in and day out. Take some time to reflect on your actions and how they help your employees. Odds are, you’ll find plenty of new leadership opportunities with this strategy. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
8. How Would I Want to Be Treated by My Boss?
A simple question that can change how you think is, “How would I want to be treated by my boss?” This question puts you in the place of your team members and helps you see what you look like to them. By constantly asking yourself this question, you’ll choose your words and decisions carefully and you’ll build a work environment that people want to stay in. – Blair Williams, MemberPress
9. How Would My Mentor Behave in This Scenario?
Most people have mentors or idols who possess great values. Putting yourself in your mentor’s shoes and imagining how they would behave can give you clarity. Use their behavior and experiences as models for how to be equitable in your business. You’ll find creative and fair ways to manage people and bring out the best in them. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.