Favourites at work

Favourites at work

Managing People – The Dangers of Having Favourites !

Favourites at work – many, many years moons ago, I worked with children.  They were boys between the ages of seven and eleven. And, for me, they were at the most interesting stage in their development.  I saw them gaining in awareness and personality with views of their own about pretty much everything.  It was tempting to spend time with a particular child that you liked. This would have been at the expense of a child that really needed your attention. Sometime later I found the same thing could happen in nursing. That patient who was so appealing might be lavished with greater care. Favouring a particular patient or a particular child would have been, at the very least, unprofessional. And if you think about it, it could lead to harm.

As a manager showing that you have favourites can also be disastrous. I don’t mean that excellence, high performance and value to the organization should not be recognised.  But an organization cannot succeed in meeting its goals without the full cooperation and collaboration of all its members. If people believe they do not all have the same chance of gaining a reward, they switch off and become de-motivated.  They need to know that everyone plays by the same rules and is judged in the same way.

Having favourites at work is risky

There may be particular risks when a manger is newly promoted from within a work group.  Friendships can be maintained but they need to be kept for outside the workplace. It is a good idea to discuss this with the friend. Then agree from the outset how you will both make it clear no special benefits come from the friendship. The same thing goes for people that you did not get on with particularly well. It may be worth having a conversation to clear the air. Make sure that people understand you will be making a fresh start.

Remember having favourites can easily slip into discrimination. Recognise that from the start and resolve to be a manager who does not have favourites!

Working with a career coach really can help you succeed as a manager. Why not take advantage of my offer of a free half hour coaching session to find out how I can help

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link


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  1. Pingback: Drive and Motivation: The surprising truth about what motivates us | WiseWolf Talking - the WiseWolf Coaching Blog

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