Favoritism at work:

“My boss plays favorites!”

Favoritism in the workplace does happen frequently and is a controversial issue.

“Oh! Wow! That’s not good. I guess you should talk to him and politely ask him to cut it out.  Or complain to HR about this bad behavior. ”

And the opposing view!

“Relax! Hold your horses. Even your mom may have had favorites – the kids who are well mannered and easy to get along with rather than the grouchy ones. It is understandable that good kids make it to being favorite kids.

Is favoritism entirely and positive bad in any circumstances?

Is it OK for a boss to have a trusted go-to person when there is a challenging piece of work? Or is OK if the boss plays pickup basketball with a few of the co-workers and hence bonds with them? Is it a problem only if it affects issues like promotions, bonuses, and pay raises?  Or will the favoritism devolve into tribalism and impact whether others get the right opportunities to make an impression?

Have you been on either side of the favoritism spectrum?  Please share your thoughts?


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