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One of the hardest things to accept in the workplace is lose a promotion or get the lowest salary increase in favor of someone who doesn’t deserve it. That’s my problem. Even in the choice of work desk, I always get the battered one. Is there a way where I could change things around when the boss is clearly playing favoritism? – Totally Disgruntled.
They were burying a rather unsavory character who had never been near a place of worship in his life. The departed was an incurable womanizer, a known gambler, and alcoholic. And the church services were being conducted by a young, new priest who had never heard of him before.
Carried away by the occasion, the priest gave a lavish praise for the departed man. After ten minutes of describing the man as an exceptional father and husband, the widow whose expression had grown more and more puzzled, nudged her teen-age son and whispered: “Go up there and make sure it’s your Papa.”
Likewise, let me ask you the question with a different twist: “Are you sure you’re not part of your perceived problem?” One of the hardest things to accept is to explore a problem without looking at ourselves. That’s the reason why nature taught us that when you blame someone; take note of the other four fingers that are pointing your way. Nonetheless, it’s your responsibility to work at gaining acceptance by your boss and fellow workers. It may not be fair, but it goes with the job of working with people. It may not be easy, but it can be done. In psychology, there is such a thing as “heuristic,” referring to experience-based techniques for problem-solving, learning, and discovery.
In everyday life, we know “heuristic” as a method that resembles a rule of thumb, an educated guess, or simply common sense. I’m prescribing “heuristic” because I can’t give you enough advice based on the limited information that you gave me. Just as there are two sides to every coin, most issues have both advantages and disadvantages.
Therefore, to uncover what is reasonably and objectively possible under the circumstances, I suggest that you observe the following tips to help you cope with the situation:
Have a positive attitude no matter how difficult it may appear to be. If you’re openly negative toward a management policy or decision you don’t agree with, chances are, it will be more difficult for you to do your job well enough for you to be recognized next time. If you’re on the shoes of your boss, just as you don’t expect subordinates to ignore rules and decisions, you should not advocate workers ignoring company policies you don’t like.
Get your own complaint directly answered by your boss. Don’t hazard a guess that he’s playing favorites or that the other person doesn’t deserve it. If you have a serious objection to a decision or policy, make your thoughts known to your boss. There may be a valid reason which you are not aware of. Nevertheless, whether you ultimately accept the decision or not, as a worker, it’s your job to do the best you can to observe it according to its letter and spirit until you decide to leave the organization.
Prepare for any management negative reaction. Ask yourself: Are you performing your job in accordance with the boss’ expectations and standards? The answer should give you a clear hint unless you are overly blinded by proximity to the problem. Having the facts and figures to back up your work record should tell you how your boss could react to your sentiments.
Seek a win-win solution. If you believe that you are in the right direction, explore the possibility of a consensus. Don’t expect the boss to be converted right away. But there are many reasonable managers out there who are likely to see your point as long as you can come up with the wisdom associated with your complaint. Once you have done the best job, don’t waste time in trying to win other converts that you’ve won over an argument with the boss.
Always keep in mind that most employee complaints are treated with utmost objectivity by management. Generally, people managers will usually think and rethink their action to cover as many issues as possible to reduce possible employee opposition.
DO YOU WANT TO CHALLENGE THIS ADVICE? This blog is for non-management people who can’t raise an issue directly against their bosses for fear of reprisal or job insecurity, among others. Send your feedback to email@example.com if you have a supporting or contrary view on this article. Follow Rey Elbo on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for his random management thoughts.
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