The Power of “Fair”.

Everything in Life is a Two-Way Street.

When someone does something for you, you feel obliged to do something for them in return.


My building business DDB Design has been blessed with a 30-year run of wonderful clients. We love giving our clients great service throughout the building process and we willingly do their maintenance and fix up jobs for free for many years after completion. This is our way of paying back their trust and loyalty. It is a win-win for us all.

This is one example of “the law of reciprocity”, which is one of the strongest forces in human behaviour. Humans have a compulsion to be fair and equitable in all interactions and relationships.


“Life is an echo, what you send out comes back.” Unknown


Our moto at DDB for quality control on our projects is, “if we were the client, would this be good enough?” I borrowed this moto from the sales and business guru Brian Tracey 3 decades ago and it has been one of our core values ever since.


“The golden rule of business is to put yourself in your customers place.” Brian Tracey


We all have an innate sense of fairness. We are driven by a deep psychological need to be fair and even with others. If someone does something nice for you, you feel a need to do something nice for them in return, hence our love of gift giving.

But the reverse is also true. If someone does something to hurt you, you feel the desire to hurt them back, hence our need for lawyers and the legal system.

Our sense of fairness develops at a very young age from children playing, taking turns on a swing, or sharing Easter eggs after the Easter hunt. Little kids have fairness in their DNA.

Using the power of fairness is a strong negotiation technique.

Using the word “fair” in a negotiation can be powerful.

The word fair triggers an emotional need to be even. Most people will back off rather than be unfair to someone else. Using the word fair taps into the law of reciprocity, which is at the core of most business deals and personal relationships.


“It’s hard for a warm and pleasant person who asks a lot of questions and is engaged in their daily work to not come across interesting opportunities and to ultimately succeed.” James Clear


Communities are built on the foundation of reciprocity. Our lives are not lived in isolation. Every choice and every action has the power to affect those around us.

Gratitude is reciprocity in action. It is as simple as saying something nice or encouraging to make someone feel good. Everyone loves to be praised or recognised for their effort.

True success is not measured by individual achievements, but by the positive impact we have on the world around us.


One of the best parts of my job, is helping people with their building problems. I love sharing my knowledge and experience, mostly for free. My generosity is my time, my contacts, and my knowledge. It does not cost me anything other than my time, but it can be very valuable to those who need it.


“The person who gives first, usually ends up with the most.” Blair Singer


Asking lots of questions makes other people feel valued, but the real power is in the listening. By gaining an insight into what the other person really wants, then conceding a little, plays into their sense of fairness and allows the negotiation to move forward in a positive direction.

Negotiation is all about compromise. When you give in to a request, it allows you to ask for something in return. Give and take, give and take…


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