There are many indicators that you’re likely the boss’ s favourite, from being given plum projects to getting invites to special events. But there’s one extreme sign that you’ve effectively been anointed “the teacher’s pet”.
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“When you’re ‘tops’ in the boss’s mind, it seems you have special privileges to come and go as you please, you’re able to speak up with limited fallout, and you generally have more power than coworkers,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behaviour and Thrive in Your Job.” “But these are exactly the reasons why favoritism is ultimately a disaster for your peers, boss, company, and you.”
What at first it may seem like a coveted role can easily become a minefield, she explains. “If you’re getting preferential treatment, then by definition, you have an unfair advantage and others are losing out. It not only sinks morale and productivity and increases turnover — it can easily lead to legal claims of a hostile work environment. And you may be caught in the thick of it,” she says.
It’s one thing to be appreciated by your boss, but another to be singled out as a role model or given a different set of rules. If your boss cannot see the difference, it’s time to manage up, she says.
Here’s what you can do:
1) Have a diplomatic talk about the feedback and/or impressions you’re getting from others.
2) Solicit your manager’s suggestions and offer your own on remedying the situation.
3) Encourage projects and activities with your boss and staff that are more inclusive.
4) Suggest that your boss recognise individuals on the team who deserve particular credit.
5) Help your boss and their admin (or HR) establish group lunches or employee recognition, e.g., at weekly morning coffees.
6) Explain to your boss the benefits of these efforts, such as better collaboration and results for you, as well as a much more dedicated team.
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