Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Playing Favorites? Or Just Your Perception?

The boss is having a Monday morning laugh with one of your counterparts. You wait for him to stop by and have a laugh with you but, alas, he passes right by with a “morning”. Favoritism? Maybe. But yet again, maybe not.

Some leaders actually do play the favoritism game. We all know - or should - that this is just wrong. There is no place in the workplace for it. It causes disengagement and distrust. But the “perceived” favoritism just may be a case of liking someone better than others. Workplace or not, it’s just human nature. But it doesn't make it any better.

Take a look at who you’re dealing with. Who are you socializing with? Who are you engaging in small talk with? If it’s the same people all the time, while disregarding others, you’re going to have to do some changing in order to keep everyone in tune.

Now this doesn’t mean to just cut out socializing. Socializing is a big part of establishing rapport with staff. You need to be establishing a rapport with everyone, not just the people that you “like”. Having that rapport can be thought of as a kind of recognition by some. It’s a motivator. If staff see you yucking it up with some, but not with others, it’s perceived that you just don’t care about them. That’s definitely not what you want. It IS, however, one of the things that you just have to deal with in today’s world – negative thoughts come before positive ones. Once a perception is ingrained, it’s hard to reverse it.

Talk with all of your staff. Get to know a little bit about them and their families. Find out a couple of key likes and dislikes. A short conversation here and there is all you need to make EVERYONE feel appreciated.

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