Consider making objectivity your BFF

If you are facing a challenging employment situation or issue, I want you to consider making objectivity your (BFF) otherwise known as best friend forever. Or, if you’re from my generation or older your bona fide friend. defines objectivity as ‘sticking to the observable facts without bias..’ Whereas, the Cambridge Dictionary defines emotions as ‘a strong feeling such as love, anger, fear etc.’ Now, I want to point out that being objective does not mean being emotionless; but rather that you have your emotions under control.

Why objectivity is your BFF

When faced with testing situations, emotions can run high and, you may end up saying something you regret later. On the other hand, objectivity helps you to focus your attention on the facts, cutting through ‘noise’ and, confusion like a hot knife through butter. You are then better equipped to hone in on the crucial issues so that you can make sound decisions rather than unstable ones.

A case in point

I recently attended an employment tribunal. The person bringing the claim was subject to questioning for some hours over two days. She responded calmly throughout; because she understood that failure to control her feelings would cost her personally and, professionally.

Objectivity leads to better outcomes

Similarly, I have observed that people who choose to respond to tough situations objectively (factually) fare overwhelmingly better than those who give their feelings and ultimately their tongues free rein. Let’s look at how you can exercise objectivity in employment processes through Sue’s experience. Sue submitted a grievance because she believes that her colleague has been bullying her. Sue can choose to respond in one of two ways:

Take 1

Sue swore and then shouted at a colleague, “You’ve been bullying me!”

There is no doubt that Sue has an important issue that requires addressing and, she may feel justified by reacting the way that she did. However, her abusive language is not helpful to her position and, may undermine it.

Take 2

Sue stated in a calm tone, “Section 5.5 of the policy states that every member of staff will be treated with respect and dignity.” I have some examples that show that I have been subject to bullying from my colleague over the last year.”

Can you see the difference? Objectivity helped Sue to raise her concerns in a way that gave focus to the issue at hand rather than her behaviour.

That said, like a BFF objectivity may not tell you what you want to hear but it may be the very thing that you need to listen to and, heed.

© Dawn H Jones is an HR Consultant, Coach, and Blogger. Please note that this post does not constitute specific HR or employment law advice if you require help please contact an appropriately qualified professional or drop me an email  –


  1. Actually very helpful as I am a senior manager currently dealing with a very similar situation and fall foul of being overcome by emotion. It’s a learning process that tools like these can make a less stressful experience.

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