I am in a team of 7 including our team leader (which has both the responsibility of technical lead and line management) in a company consisting of 700 people total. We are a relatively young team with the youngest being 26 and the oldest 32. Our team lead, let's call him Bob, has a much closer relationship to two of the team members - let's call them James and John.
Now, this is not a problem in itself, since human nature simply means we connect better with some over others on a personal level. In this particular case it does become a problem, because Bob's relationship with James and John makes him favor them in work related discussions, even if one of the 4 of us remaining in the team clearly has more knowledge within the particular subject than James and John. It can even happen that if James or John joins a work related discussion not started by either of them, that Bob starts to completely ignore the remaining persons in the discussion.
I have thought of the following options to the issue below, together with my thoughts on the solution.
1. Accept it as it is or resign if I cannot do that
Given it's somewhat unlikely to change Bob's behavior, this might be the best solution.
2. Confront Bob about it
I am unsure how to approach if I were to choose this option and, even if he listens, I see a risk of damaging my relationship to Bob beyond repair.
3. Talk to HR about it
To avoid confronting Bob directly I could go to HR with it, with them then confronting Bob about it. Risk here being whether HR would be on my or Bob's "side", and whether it would even be obvious for Bob that it was me who talked to HR, given we are a small team.
Do I have any other options than the above 3, and if not, how should I go about using one of those?