Parents are some times known to display the behaviour of favouring one child over the other(s), no matter how hard they try to suppress it. It has been happening for as long as there has been children.
That’s one thing, though. Well, you could always divert the blame to, ‘There’s no perfect family’. Which is true, but it doesn’t suffice for the behaviour to exist in the first place.
The same is true for the office.
When people are after the same thing, the same result, therefore fighting shoulder-to-shoulder in the trenches, they automatically become family.
In some offices, though, as is the case in different households, there could be factors such as how long one employee has been of service versus the new kid(s) on the block. That can tilt the favour scale disproportionately to one side and leave other team members fighting harder just to get the same level of respect or even worse, reason harder just to get pardoned for a mishap they might’ve caused.
The world becomes a breeze for the favoured children and a jungle for the rest. That gradually creates an atmosphere permeated by animosity — even if it doesn’t reach boiling point.
As a leader, what have you got to lose in all this?
Well, you effectively have a team that doesn’t row in the same direction; worse, you just might have a person in there who drills little holes in the boat. And we both know for consistency’s sake, that’s never a good thing to have.
The best way to solve this conundrum is:
- Never value team members according to how long they’ve been with you. (Time isn’t an effective indicator of anything in this instance, because there are numerous employees who are comfortable in one job because they are risk averse; not because they are loyal.)
- Never be afraid of losing an employee — however talented they may be. (At one point, you didn’t have them.)
- When a senior employee behaves irresponsibly, take punitive measures to rectify the blunder. If it allows, have a team wide meeting and address it in the presence of everyone else. Openness.
As soon as you’re afraid to offend the ‘stars’ in your team, you’re done!
- Lastly (and this is the most important of all), learn to rely on yourself. When you play your part effectively in the team, there’ll likely be no reason for anyone to believe and even behave as though they are the boss. And if someone does, for whatever reason, you’ll be in a position to quell that fire before the entire team goes up in smoke.
Your credibility is super important. Work hard not to toss it away.
Another thing: Why bring a person into your office only to have them be treated with less respect than other people?
Lead. Don’t coddle.
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