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Posted: June 14th, 2019

How to Be Friends with Someone Who Works for You

It is said that being at the top can be lonely. There are facets to your job which can make you uncomfortable. However, everyone understands that climbing to the top of the corporate ladder often requires that you make some tough decisions. It is a sacrifice that many executives make to be in the senior positions. Why? Well because of the perks of the job and because as human beings we are naturally ambitious. But that does not mean that you have to sit on that mountain peak alone. No, you can learn different strategies that will help you to befriend your co-workers and engender lasting relationships, while performing your duties and not compromising yourself.
There are several other strategies that can help you to maintain your own relationship and understand how to be friends with someone who works for you.

Carefully Select Your Friends
This might sound familiar. Well it is an old adage that is repeated from one generation to the next and it is because it serves a valuable purpose. Your friends will show others who you are. They have the power to enhance or detract from your character. They must be trustworthy and have good judgment. So take your time, when selecting someone to be your workplace buddy.
Set Your Standards From Early
One of the first things which must be understood is that senior managers will have to withhold information that might impact a lower level employee’s job. Not because you are buddies, it means that every topic will be on the agenda for gossip. A good manager will understand this reality and make it clear from day one. It is in both your best interest that your relationship is transparent and that others are not threatened by it.
These standards must also be applied in the workplace. They must dictate how you interact in the workplace and outside of the workplace. Have a discussion about how you speak to each other in the office environment. It should never be said that you are loafing around in your office with your subordinate, or vice versa. You want to also safeguard your relationships with other employees. They must feel that they can trust either of you with information that will not disrupt the lines of confidentiality for the other parties.
Be A Friend, Not Always The Boss
Do not seek to dominate the relationship. If you are aggressive or overbearing with someone you want a friendship with, chances are they will distance themselves with you over time or not be genuine because they still see you as the boss, outside of work hours. Remember, it is important that there is mutual respect and trust.
Do Not Renege On Your Job Responsibilities
You might care about your friend’s opinions or feelings. However that should never impact your direct job functions. Where it is required, always be direct, honest and straightforward. Be prepared to be truthful, if their job performance is below par or negatively affecting the business. Any good relationship can withstand these tests and will be better for it. If not, it was not worth it, in the first place.
Great, genuine relationships might be rare, but it is possible to engender them within the workplace. It takes great care, patience and wisdom to determine whether someone is worthy of having a friendship. Keep in mind, that it would be best to observe the individual for a while. Befriending a new hire is not advised, especially if their work ethics, performance and other elements have not been proven. Always ensure that the lines between professional and personal are never blurred.


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