I’m Your Boss, Not Your Friend: 10 Reasons Why Your Boss Shouldn’t Be Your Friend

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<ul><li><p>Im Your Boss, Not Your Friend: 10 </p><p>Reasons Why Your Boss Shouldnt </p><p>Be Your Friend Contributed by Grant Stanley on March 23, 2015 in Management &amp; </p><p>Leadership </p><p>Is it ever OK for a manager to be friends with </p><p>their employees? </p><p>Believe me, this isnt just a question brand </p><p>new managers struggle with (and most of </p><p>them do). Its an issue a lot of experienced </p><p>managers are questioned about as well, and </p><p>many of them dont think its a problem at all. </p><p>http://flevy.com/blog/author/grant-stanley/http://flevy.com/blog/category/management-leadership/http://flevy.com/blog/category/management-leadership/</p></li><li><p>The issue of buddy to boss might not be as black and white as you might think. </p><p>Conventional management and HR 101 wisdom would tell you its absolutely not OK. In </p><p>fact, some companies might even try to outlaw it through cronyism policies. </p><p>However, in the real world of work, emotions and relationships cant be governed by policy. </p><p>Workplace relationships are can be extremely tricky, just as personal or family relationships </p><p>can be. </p><p>Managers are not robots they have feelings and emotions. Sometimes you cant help but </p><p>like one employee more than another. Sometimes workplace romances blossom between </p><p>managers and employees (thats a whole other issue). So how can they be expected to just </p><p>turn those emotions off when they enter company property? </p><p>Maybe it would be helpful to take a look at the definition of friend. According to Merriam-</p><p>Webster, a friend is one attached to another through affection or esteem; one that is not </p><p>hostile, a favoured companion. </p><p>Hmmm, Ive been a manager for a long time, and that would be how I would describe A LOT </p><p>of my employees. In fact, I would even use stronger words to describe my relationship with </p></li><li><p>some past employees words like close, supportive, caring, trusting, warm, fun, and </p><p>respectful. I really enjoyed spending time with my employees, individually and in a group. </p><p>We laughed, we cried, and we fought just like friends, right? </p><p>Ive said to more than one employee You know, if I wasnt your manager, I bet we could be </p><p>great friends! </p><p>Have I muddied the waters enough or raised a shadow of doubt? </p><p>Actually, this is one of those issues that as muddy as it may be, it turns out the conventional </p><p>management and HR 101 wisdom is right on. </p><p>No matter how close a manager may feel to an employee, it should never be confused with a </p><p>real friendship. You might be a friendly boss, and maybe even share some of the </p><p>characteristics of a true friendship. You might even call it a friend with boundaries. </p><p>However, the role of a manager transcends friendship and creates a boundary and potential </p><p>scenarios that would never exist between true friends. </p><p>There are at least 10 reasons why its a bad idea for a manager and employee to call </p><p>themselves friends, including: </p></li><li><p>1. It will create a perception of favouritism. Even if you think youre being 100% fair </p><p>and unbiased, youll always be subject to being second guessed. </p><p>2. You may not even realise it, but other employees are probably letting your friends </p><p>get away with more, thinking that youre going to protect them or side with them. </p><p>3. If you allow yourself to get emotionally attached to one employee for whatever </p><p>reason but not another, those emotions will consciously or unconsciously influence </p><p>decisions around raises, redundancies, assignments, promotions, etc </p><p>4. If you see an employee as a friend, youll have expectations of that employee that </p><p>are unrealistic or inappropriate for an employee. Well gosh, a friend would never do </p><p>that, or should do that, or should tell me everything, etc </p><p>5. On the other hand, your friend employee may have expectations of you that are </p><p>unrealistic or unprofessional, such as sharing confidential information, or always </p><p>giving them advance notice, or doing special little friendly favours for them. </p><p>6. As a manager, part of your job is to judge your employees, to give constructive </p><p>feedback, and sometimes to discipline them, even fire them. Does this sound like </p><p>something a friend would do to another friend? </p><p>7. Although this threat never seems to scare managers, yes, its true you and company </p><p>could get sued. You are exposing yourself and your company to the risk of </p></li><li><p>discrimination lawsuits. Dont think it never happens it does. Thats why HR people </p><p>are so crazy about the issue they are trying to protect your backside. </p><p>8. ALL employees need to complain about their bosses now and then, even the best </p><p>managers. Youre kidding yourself if you think youre immune from this. However, if </p><p>you see your employees as friends, youre more likely to take it personally. </p><p>9. Friends let their hair down outside of work and sometimes do silly things with each </p><p>other. Managers are supposed to set examples and be role models. So, as a </p><p>manager-friend, youre either going to be a boring uptight, friend, or an </p><p>unprofessional, immature manager. You pick. And by the way, your own manager </p><p>may not appreciate those pictures of you and the gang all over employee Facebook </p><p>pages. </p><p>Can you socialise with your employees? Or go out for a drink? Sure, but just make it a </p><p>habit to stick to one drink and be the first to leave (to give them time to complain </p><p>about you), or at least not the last to leave. </p><p>10. Some employees may find your attempts to be friends as personally intrusive, or </p><p>inappropriate. They might even find your advances to be creating a hostile work </p><p>environment, and again, exposing yourself and your company to that old lawsuit </p><p>thing. </p><p>What do you think? Is it ever OK for a manager to be friends with their employees? </p></li><li><p> About Grant Stanley </p><p>Grant Stanley is an experienced Sales &amp; Marketing Leader with over 15 years coaching, training, and </p><p>developing New and Existing Business. With experience in IT, Telecom, Capital Equipment, and FMCG, </p><p>Grant shares his business experiences and expertise on his blog, CSM Consultants (Inspiring &amp; Enabling </p><p>Change) . You can also connect with Grant Stanley on LinkedIn here . </p><p>http://iwantmorebusiness.blogspot.co.uk/http://iwantmorebusiness.blogspot.co.uk/https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/grant-stanley/9b/21a/401/en</p></li><li><p>Flevy (www.flevy.com) is the marketplace for premium documents. These documents can range from Business Frameworks to Financial Models to PowerPoint Templates. Flevy was founded under the principle that companies waste a lot of time and money recreating the same foundational businessdocuments. Our vision is for Flevy to become a comprehensive knowledge base of business documents. All rganizations, from startups to large enterprises, can use Flevy whether it's to jumpstart projects, to find reference or comparison materials, or just to learn. </p><p> Contact Us Please contact us with any questions you may haveabout our company. 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