When a colleague has special favor with the boss, it can make others feel inferior. Advantageous treatment can cause resentment, especially when it translates to more pay and less work for the preferred coworker. This kind of behavior seems common at many organizations, but you don’t have to resign yourself to the circumstances. While you can’t fix everything, use the following tips to deal with this scenario.
Try to Understand the Situation
Attempt to understand why this special consideration exists. If the people involved share a relationship or a close friendship, special treatment might come naturally. Perhaps they have a history together at a prior employer, or the colleague earned trust by excelling at preceding assignments. Once you gain an understanding, it can shed light on the situation.
Don’t Place Blame
Even if the favoritism seems unwarranted, don’t blame the preferred employee. Usually it’s not their fault, and they might even be unaware of special treatment. Even if you find it difficult to work with preferred people, maintain a courteous relationship with them and the boss.
Sometimes favoritism seems meritless and benefits a colleague who lacks the proper qualifications. In that case, simply remain patient. The boss might eventually come to the conclusion that his misplaced partiality doesn’t create advantages for the company.
When you do want to talk to the boss, you need to think this through carefully and practice beforehand what to say. Remain calm and professional, and schedule a conference time ahead of time. Don’t just stop him in the hallway to complain.
Maintain a Positive Outlook
It’s best to exercise a positive outlook with the boss and to avoid mentioning the favoritism he bestows. Instead, try to create a good working relationship by offering help and asking for opportunities. Even if everyone in the office knows about the favoritism, avoid bringing others into the situation because it can backfire and make you look bad.
Use Human Resources as a Last Resort
If your attempts to communicate yield no results or the favoritism causes discrimination, you can involve human resources. This should count as a last-ditch effort. When talking to this department, make sure to have data on hand that can prove your position.
Regardless of circumstances, always do your job thoroughly, and express desire to make the company, co-workers and clients look good. If you’re completely unhappy with the employment circumstances, maybe it’s time to consider newer, better opportunities. Sometimes life presents these types of obstacles in order for people to find better situations at new places.