Managing in today’s environment is difficult. So much is asked and little is given. Those who are not managers but individual contributors are constantly being asked to do more with less, or take on more work than they have time for, and if they push back, are greeted with the words, “be glad you have a job.” I’m of the opinion most individuals would rather hear, “thank you” and know that their manager is treating them in a fair, firm and consistent manner. The most difficult job for any manager is encapsulated in three words, fair, firm, and consistent.

What one individual deems as fairness is seen as special or preferential treatment by another. Firmness in a manager is often construed as rigidness and unyielding. What makes both fairness and firmness workable is consistency. The manager who is consistent with their decisions will be viewed as person with integrity and will have the respect of the individuals they manage.

Fair, firm, and consistent is such a simple concept, so why do so many managers find it so allusive? Perhaps the lack of good examples they could emulate, who understood the concept. You see what makes advice work, is being able to see individuals at work who are exemplars of the desired behavior. If a manager desires to understand why they get inconsistent performance from their staff, perhaps they should examine how they are performing.

Fair, firm and consistent are the foundation that allows you to: define outcomes for people, outline and convey the performance you want from them, explain the competencies they will need to develop, and provide the development opportunities needed to achieve them.

As a manager, if you’re fair, firm and consistent you will develop and build a successful team that will be equipped to accomplish any task given to them.

So, when are you going to start your program of fair, firm and consistency?

© Timothy A. Wilson 2012. All Rights Reserved