Remain objective

The ability to remain objective in challenging and stressful situations is a powerful attribute to have, develop and exercise. It is hazardous to become emotionally driven when in testing situations. A potential consequence is that harm may result to our health, wellbeing, personal and professional working relationships.

Easier said than done – but possible

I appreciate that exercising objectivity is easier said than done when you are personally involved (especially when you want to give that person a piece of your mind) but, it is not impossible and, it may save you from having to eat humble pie – and lots of it.

There is a clear difference between objectivity and emotions.

It does not mean that one characteric is better than the other; both are needed but in the right context, at the right time for the proper purpose.

Jaxon’s story

Jaxon called John, the HR Business Partner in a panic. He explained that his manager had revealed that she had concerns about the implementation of new guidelines. As a result, she would support him with training and additional supervision sessions. Before John had an opportunity to respond Jaxon said:

“I can’t lose this job; I have bills to pay, my daughter has just started nursery. What am I going to do? What will I tell my wife?”

John interjected stating, “It appears your manager is trying to support you and there is no suggestion of formal performance management.”

Jaxon replied, “You don’t understand; I cannot lose this job; I’m behind on my bills as it is.”

Jaxon reponded, would it be helpful if I spoke to your manager?”

“Yes please.” Jaxon replied

Later on that day John called Jaxon back.

“Hello Jaxon, is this a good time to talk?”

“Yes, it is.” Jaxon replied.

“I spoke to Sarah, your manager. She was very concerned that you were upset. She explained that training had been scheduled for the whole team next week. Sarah said that she was happy with your standard of work and, you are an asset to the team. I hope this puts your mind at rest?”

“Oh, yes, thank you so much.”

“You are welcome. If you need additional support with any of your concerns, you can contact the employee assistance scheme. Would you like me to email you those details?”

“Yes, please.”

“Ok, I will do that. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“No thank you, you’ve been very helpful.”

“Alright, bye Jaxon.”

“Bye, John.”

The observable facts

Jaxon could have saved himself all of the emotional angst he went through by calmly thinking through the observable facts and, asking his manager to clarify what she had said.

Return on your investment

Being objective doesn’t mean you won’t be emotionally affected; instead, you have your emotions under control so you can think with clarity, make sound decisions while protecting our health and well-being. Developing the objectivity habit may prove to be a challenge, but the return on investment will be worth it.

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  –

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