How it works
First thing every Monday morning we'll send you an email with concrete advice for the week ahead. Each email focuses on a single topic. and contains:Advice that's short and to the point. What should you do, and why?
Concrete actions to help you improve.
A snappy title to help make the advice memorable and relatable.
From: Steve | Serve The Team
Subject: This week: No favourite children
No favourite children
You are exceptionally unlikely to get on with everyone who works for you equally well. Regardless of how much you value the different skills and perspectives that they each bring to your team, you will inevitably like some people more than others. That’s life.
But as the boss, you have to be extremely careful with how you express those emotions. You must be scrupulously fair, and you must be seen to be so. If you can’t, or won’t, then you’re taking a big risk. People are sensitive to status and connection and they know when they’re not ‘in’. You risk breeding resentment among the people who aren’t your buddies.
That resentment will fester, and those people will be less willing to give you the benefit of the doubt when you mess up. They may question your judgement - after all, from their perspective it’s not that great. They’ll be less likely to trust you. You will, in effect, have created a two-tier team. Would you want to be in the second tier?
Things to try
- Spend some time thinking about your relationships with your team. Do you have favourites? (If you answered no, try again).
- Be honest with yourself: how are you treating them differently?
- Adjust your behaviour. Make sure you’re treating everyone equally at work. Go out of your way to talk up the achievements of the ‘out’ crowd. Make sure you’re offering them the same amount of your time and energy as you offer your buddies. Make sure you’re as willing to critique your buddies as you are everyone else.