How to Deal with a Boss Showing Favoritism  

If you have attended school anywhere, ever then you have probably seen or experienced favoritism. Hopefully it was you standing in the glory of your teacher’s admiration but more likely it was that little brown-nosing bastard Billy who sat two seats over from you. Back then you may have thought that favoritism from your superiors ends with the classroom. Unfortunately this kind of behaviour all too easily transfers to the workplace. Whether you’re on the receiving end or bearing the brunt there are a few strategies to make your working life a little easier.  

Don’t Let it Show

Never let it get to you. The only thing worse than a boss treating an employee like some long lost son is openly showing you resent it. Nothing will make you seem as petty or base as showing jealously in front of that co-worker. It’s also the quickest way for your boss to think your scum. Instead your goal should either be to ignore it or foster your own relationship. If you’re choosing to ignore it then keep your head down and enjoy that daily serving of humble pie friend. But if you’re looking to nudge your way onto the golden pedestal yourself, you’ll have to get a little more creative.

Odds are, golden boys a complete tool. So use him like one. Although it might hurt a bit, try to build a relationship with your boss’s ‘chosen one.’ Chances are it’s not their fault they are the object of your boss’s admiration. Buddy up and form your bosses dream team. Remember the old saying; birds of a feather can become the boss’s favourite together.


Foster Common Interests

Try to dig up a little dirt on the boss’s personal life. Hobbies, passions, or weird obsessions, whatever your boss is into, try it out and be loud about it. People love to feel knowledgeable and generally enjoy the company of people who make them feel this way. Try deferring to your bosses expertise when taking up new hobbies. It’s a great way to build a student-teacher relationship in the work place. It’s also a great way to turn your boss into a career mentor which is probably why you got into this mess in the first place. So be bold. Now is the time to finally perfect your golf swing or try your hand at a bit of Chinese checkers. Whatever the hobby, fostering common interests will make you a more interesting employee and put you on the path to petty workplace stardom.

Be a Straight Shooter

If shortcuts, quick fixes, and elaborate deception aren’t your forte, your only option is to genuinely earn your bosses respect. Think about how an employee would win your favour and act accordingly. Show up a little early for work, volunteer regularly for extra projects, and constantly strive to learn more about your industry are all ways to genuinely impress not only your boss but those around you. Always try to be respectful but don’t kiss ass. Flattery can only get you so far but mutual respect confirms you as an equal both in the workplace and out.


Sharing is Caring

But what if it’s the other way round? What if you find yourself to be the unwilling recipient of a never ending stream of gold stars? Coworkers start to shun you and nasty whispers suddenly stop when you enter. You didn’t ask for the spot light, but now that you have it, how should you handle it?

Remember the first rule of kindergarten, share. Just because you’re in the spotlight doesn’t mean you have to hog it. If the boss congratulates you on a project make sure that everyone involved gets a slice of recognition. Be proud of your work but don’t gloat about it and especially don’t kiss ass. Flattery may get you to the top rung but it will always be on the lower ladder. Showing respect, not just to your boss but to your coworkers and workplace inferiors is a better way of getting promoted than stepping on the heads of those underneath you. Mutual respect leads to being seen as an equal both in the workplace and out.

Favoritism in the workplace is a double edged sword. Whether or not it’s you in the spot light or somebody else, favouritism is always going to be present to some degree. However that’s not always a bad thing. Being in the spotlight allows you to really shine and show everyone how capable you are of taking criticism and standing on your own. Being ’on the out’ allows you to keep your head down  without the added pressure. But if your still feeling left out or passed over just remember your old school days. Being the teachers favorite doesn’t always mean you’re the brightest. Sometimes that kid just needed to be kept from eating glue. This scenario transfers quite often to the workplace.

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