A blog about reputation, marketing and employee morale.

Can bosses be friends with those they manage?

Posted by Janet Smith on September 2, 2008

The answer is that bosses can be friends with those they oversee…but they shouldn’t be. Friendly, absolutely. But friends? Not a good idea.

It’s fine for the boss to share a bit of personal information with the staff now and then, and to engage in brief conversations with the staff about weekend plans, child-related issues, and the like.

But notice I said “a bit” of personal information and “brief” conversations. That’s because the person in charge—the one who hires, fires, disciplines, rewards, assigns work, and has a high degree of authority and responsibility—is less effective and objective when managing pals.

Be friendly. But maintain some distance. Guess that’s why they say it’s lonely at the top.

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