It Seems Like My Boss Plays Favorites - How Do I Manage the Situation?

Industry Matters Newsletter
Bill Carroll, Carroll Applied Science, L.L.C.
Bill Carroll, Carroll Applied Science, L.L.C.

Let’s drill down on this statement a bit. First, you perceive that your boss is playing favorites, and I’m guessing you don’t think you’re the favorite. But is the perception reality? Of course, it is to you, but is there any objective measure? Are you paid less? Do you get poorer assignments? Did the other person get promoted? Or does the boss just seem warmer to others?

If you have objective measures, they should be addressed objectively. Don’t whine--schedule a review of your assignments and performance—and I mean a sit-down, full-attention meeting—not a short hall conversation. She may see shortcomings in your work or your reporting that you didn’t realize. If you are the C player on an A team, the way you manage that situation is to up your game.

And if that’s the case, that’s what you commit to. Pick some things to work on for 90 days and ask your boss to agree to another sit down at that time to review your efforts. That alone—and the fact that you took the initiative—may make the situation better. And sometimes doing the right thing is as simple as knowing what it is.

If none of that helps, maybe she just doesn’t like you. That can happen in a world filled with imperfect human beings. Recognize that and manage your attitude toward her in a professional manner. Relationships can be chilly and still civil.

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