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Supervisor shows favoritism to single employee

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Q. My supervisor shows favoritism to my colleague. They’re both new mothers, so they bond easily. She’s mentoring her and ignoring the rest of us. When I raised my concern with her, she told me if I don’t like it, I should leave. Should I?

A. Your challenge is to lower her defenses so that she trusts you or at least listens with an open mind. Begin by identifying the aspect of her job that she likes least or complains about most. Then devise a way to make her job easier, either by tackling the task yourself or finding a better system to address it. It’s hard for any boss—no matter how negative—to ignore a can-do worker who fixes what’s broken.

Also realize that favoritism exists in almost every workplace. Some bosses hide it better than others, but virtually every manager enjoys the company of some employees more than others. In this case, at least you know why.

Beware of trying too hard to be friendly to your supervisor. No matter how nice or patient you act, it’ll probably come across as fake. It’s better to produce solid results. That way, even if the situation doesn’t improve and you decide to move on, you’ll have some accomplishments to point to when you seek new jobs.

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