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Fairness Favoritism Control Freaks Decision Making Power Plays and Players Who's In Charge?

I am a volunteer coach for my ten-year-old son's soccer team, and I drafted my boss's son onto the team. I thought it would be fun, but it's a disaster. My boss keeps telling me where to play him and not to take him out. If I follow what he says, it's not fair to the other children, but if I don't, this might cause trouble at work. What do you suggest?

When you get to work, your boss calls the plays, but when you get to the soccer field, you call the plays. Obviously, it can be very difficult to go against your boss's demands in any context, and a little favoritism toward his son might bring a little favoritism toward you. But, it's wrong and you know it.

As the coach, you presumably agreed to place the children first, treat them fairly and positively, and keep it all fun. If you follow your boss's demands, you will undercut the entire soccer experience for the children as well as for yourself.

Besides, it's not going to do your boss's son an iota of good to be given a role that he did not earn. Your boss's job on the soccer field is to be a fan. While he and any other parents or guardians can proffer up suggestions, and this is very common, it should go no further than that.

Looked at in a slightly different light, if you go along with your boss's demands, your boss can easily surmise that you are dependent and weak. By favoring your boss's son, you are actually likely to lose on the field and off.

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