The Fairness Triangle
One tool that can be helpful for individuals to consider as part of their decision-making process is the fairness triangle. This triangle articulates three dimensions of fairness to be considered in an individual's experience: Relational, Procedural and Substantive.
- Relational - How was I treated?
- Procedural - How was it decided?
- Substantive - What was decided?
Elements of Relational Fairness
- Being approachable
- Listening actively
- Respecting confidentiality
- Being honest and forthright
- Making information clear and easily available
- Providing accessible problem-solving options
- Being clear about what you can and cannot do
- Offering an apology if a mistake is made
Elements of Substantive Fairness
- Having the appropriate authority to make a decision
- Ensuring that decisions are based on relevant information
- ...are not unjust, oppressive or discriminatory
- ...are not wrong in fact or law
- ...are reasonable
Elements of Procedural Fairness
- Providing notice that a decision is to be made, along with sufficient information for an affected person to know what is required and what is at stake
- Providing an appropriate forum for an affected person to present their views and to be heard
- Being impartial and unbiased
- Making a decision in a reasonable time
- Providing clear and appropriate reasons for decisions