Can there be a distinction between friendship and business? There has to be. The more problematic issue is whether a manager can be a fair boss during the day and a great friend—to the same people—after work. As a peer, the manager could be friend with everyone. As a manager, there have to be boundaries. There are rules that both the manager and the employees have to follow. An employee who tries to exploit a friendship with the manager to get special favors (easier workload, extra time off, a better work space) isn’t helping anyone. And if the manager gives in—the message to the rest of the staff is, “It’s who you know if you want to get ahead.”
Managers have to be respectful of their employees—and vice versa. If an employee gets angry at the manager and becomes verbally abusive, the excuse of “Well, he used to be my friend” won’t carry much weight. And if the manager is abusive as well, for the same reason, it sends a bad message to the rest of the staff.
Lead by example if you want to be respected, acknowledged, and appreciated—by everyone you work with.
Do you lead by example?
Do you let friendships take over?
Are all of your employees your best buddies?
Tags: best buddies boss boundaries darling distinction excuse extra time friendship friendships initial rush problematic issue teammates time off transition work space