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What to do when your boss plays favourites

By Elizabeth Garone  -  BBC
When you’re not the one your boss loves most, here’s what to do...

Think about exactly what your boss needs to succeed and look good to his bosses. Find a way to help make it happen.

Boss as customer

For Andrew Wittman, a former marine, police officer, and federal agent, the solution is to change your perspective.

“No matter where you work or for whom, when you approach work from the perspective that says, ‘My boss is not my boss; he or she is my customer or client’, everything changes,” said Wittman, managing partner of South Carolina-based leadership consultancy Mental Toughness Training Center. “You’ll instantly have all the power and control. You are merely leasing your services to the company. They are your client and you give them great customer service.”

It’s important not to start feeling bad about yourself — or letting the idea of not being a favourite take over your thoughts, said Wittman. Otherwise, that’s all you will think about and you’ll lose out on opportunities to get ahead. “If you focus on making your boss a satisfied customer and making she or he look great to the higher ups, which will lead to being a ‘favourite’, your brain will sift through all the facts and data and confirm you are a favourite,” said Wittman. As a result, you’ll be less critical, be able to focus on solving problems more intently and act in ways that will naturally make the boss happy.

Rare these days is a boss — or subordinate — who sticks around for life. So, luckily you are unlikely to be wedded to this person for eternity. You probably won’t like working for someone who plays favourites, even if you become the flavour of the month. But don’t let yourself fall into a workplace pit of despair over it. Instead, continue working hard and behaving professionally and show that you care about the team, company, and clients.