11 Traits of a Fair-Minded Person
Rational. Fair-minded people employ clear and sensible thinking. They examine both sides of an issue before forming an opinion. Furthermore, fair-minded people make decisions based on hard evidence and reason rather than emotion; they know the whole story rather than just some of the facts.
Objective. Fair-minded people make impartial judgments, free from personal bias. They disclose any bias before offering an opinion.
Open-minded. Fair-minded people are tolerant and non-discriminating, accepting of the views of others. Furthermore, they are true to their own beliefs without forcing them on others. As Oscar Wilde said, “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”
Reasonable. Fair-minded people challenge others by setting high, yet realistic, expectations. They ask of others only what they’re willing to do themselves. Furthermore, they pay a fair day’s wage for an honest day’s work.
Even-handed. Fair-minded people give everyone an equal opportunity to succeed devoid of favoritism. They treat bosses and subordinates with the same level of respect. Furthermore, they discourage any real or perceived favoritism that may result from conducting business with friends or acquaintances.
Sound judgment. Fair-minded people reward folks based on the value they provide rather than on the basis of subjective assessment.
Rule abiding. Fair-minded people follow the spirit as well as the letter of the law. They do what’s right rather than what’s politically expedient. They never twist rules for personal gain.
Contributor. Fair-minded people make a concerted effort to pull their own weight rather than living off the hard work of others. They “get in the game” rather than criticizing from the sidelines.
Deserving. Fair-minded people do not request special favors or accept unearned rewards. Furthermore, fair-minded people wait their turn in line rather than pushing their way to the front.
Sound leadership. Fair-minded people earn the respect of their colleagues through their expertise, personal integrity, and ability to foster trust rather than demanding it. When fair-minded people are in positions of power, they “ do right” by people and go out of their way to serve as exemplary role models. Furthermore, they create a win-win environment. They discourage situations in which people outmaneuver one another to gain the upper hand. They avoid zero-sum games in which one-person’s win translates into another person’s loss.
Selfless. Fair-minded people are empathetic, willing to walk in another person’s shoes before making a judgment. Furthermore, as fair-minded people climb the ladder of success, they lift up others and are genuinely happy for their success.
Are You Fair-Minded?
Courage: No Guts, No Glory
Honesty: The Plain and Simple Truth
Fair is Fair
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august turak says
Another great one Frank though I wrestle with you definition of “open-minded.” Too many of the words like “tolerant” that you quite rightly use have been hijacked by people who consider anyone who does not agree with them to be “close minded.”
In your very next trait you use “challenge others” which I agree with, but which too many PC types would see as violating your rule above about foisting your opinions on others.
I am open minded and tolerant about some forms of close mindedness. For example I insist on ruthless honesty and I am neither tolerant nor open minded towards dishonest people!!! And if that means I am “forcing my beliefs on others” then so be it!!! Thanks for another great one.
Frank Sonnenberg says
I hear you Augie.
Believe me…there are days when I shake my head saying, “What kind of world are we leaving our children?” In my mind, however, we must continue listening to others even when we don’t agree with them. The alternative is retreating to our respective corners where nothing ever gets done. In saying this, I am not suggesting that anyone should surrender their beliefs or values.
It’s ironic that some of the people who preach tolerance the loudest are the same folks who resort to cyber-bullying. We can’t lower our standards by getting into the mud with them –– we must remain above the fray.
Now more than ever it is critical for all good people to live by the principles of trust, honor and integrity and to serve as exemplary role models.
Have an awesome day!
I always swore I was so fair-minded. Personal inventorying proved otherwise. This list of traits gives me a more concrete vision of what I can work on. thank you!
Frank Sonnenberg says
I’m glad you find the traits useful and are able to apply them. They’re a good reminder for all of us.