Favourites. It’s a dangerous game to play and one in which there aren’t many willing participants.
Bias is something we all participate in and act upon. We might prefer people who we perceive as being like ourselves, or those who are what we aspire to be like. We might gravitate towards people if we enjoy their sense of humour, or respect their intelligence. It’s only natural. But letting that bias creep into management decisions is a whole different ball game.
The manager who plays favourites is impossible to please. If one employee is singled out as special for seemingly no good reason, everyone else will soon realise that flapping like a moth round their flame to gain attention is to no avail. They will give up, wallowing in their resentment, ready to pounce should the favourite fall from grace.
If you’re the manager be careful how you make your move. Don’t gamble away respect. Be conscious of how your behaviour affects others. And if your actions could be perceived as being unfair then you need to be clear about why they are not.
If you’re the favourite then congratulations, but don’t be tempted to climb on that pedestal. Keep your feet firmly on the ground and forego any special favours that are bestowed on your status. The manager who plays favourites cannot be expected to act with consistency. You will thank me when you’re dropped like a hot potato when the new flavour of the month arrives.
And if you’re the moth, I only hope you realise the futility of your attempts. I’m not suggesting that you give up, only that you find a better flame to dance around.
Photo credit: via Mr Dwyer http://www.brunswick.k12.me.us/hdwyer/group-2-essays/