Building good relationships with managers and colleagues is encouraged by many companies. It helps create a healthy atmosphere at work and fosters collaboration. However, working with a friend can get tough sometimes.
Many people find it hard to navigate the relationship if their friend is a subordinate, colleague, or boss. It can be indeed challenging in cases when you must take tough decisions, accept criticism, or provide productive feedback.
However, since such situations are getting increasingly common, you need to learn the art of maintaining a positive business relationship. This can help avoid losing both a friend and a qualified professional.
Working at https://essayhub.com/order-essay where you can easily order an essay, we foster a friendly and collaborative environment for our writers and staff. So, for us, learning to navigate professional relationships has become critically important.
We’ve collected a few pieces of advice on how to handle this issue. Interested? Read ahead.
Remember Who You Are to Each Other
Being both friends and colleagues is not a problem at all if each of you remembers the differences between the two roles. Maintaining a professional dialogue does require some discipline, so keep that in mind while interacting.
When you feel the conversation is going the wrong way, try adding an element that identifies your role at that moment. For example, the phrase “I am saying that as a friend” can smooth anything over if used at the right time.
Also, have a conversation with your colleague if you feel you are not being heard as a manager. You can help your friend distinguish between roles or situations to react appropriately.
Always Think First
Whether you are a manager or subordinate in this relationship, the following rule applies for both. Always think before saying something by analyzing it from three different perspectives.
First of all, ask yourself whether it should be said at all. If not, skip it and avoid the problem.
Secondly, consider whether this is the best time to say it. If the timing is bad, leave it be.
Finally, think about the best way to tell something to show respect to the person’s role and relationship. Diplomacy is a great skill, and you have to master it to survive in this situation.
Establish Professional Boundaries
For friends who happen to work together, it is vital to discuss boundaries as clearly as possible and as early as possible. For example, refuse to discuss work during any social meetings. Agree that work feedback is never personal; it has nothing to do with your relationships outside the office.
Even such things as office rumors should be banned from your communication if you cooperate on different levels. The more diligently you discuss all these controversial issues, the better you work together.
Provide Objective Feedback
Our team members at EssayPro review every conflict situation carefully to identify personal issues behind the matter and eliminate them. Work feedback must always be objective, no matter who gives it – a friend or a stranger. Objectiveness toward every team member is essential for building a healthy environment. Otherwise, you give lots of reasons for gossip and dishonesty among staff.
Separate Your Professional and Personal Lives
Our work consumes much of our time, and we do need to share the news with friends from time to time. However, if you two are colleagues, try to spend as much quality time together as possible outside the office to have other feelings and emotions to share.
Experienced entrepreneurs, like Arash Ferdowsi who had a chance to start a few businesses with close friends, insist on keeping these boundaries to avoid blending personal and professional lives in the workplace. Blurring these lines always causes problems in the relationships.
Control Your Emotions
You can act a lot different with your manager/friend than you’d do if you weren’t that close. However, you should strive to keep emotions in the professional and personal areas as separate as possible. When you discuss work, remove thoughts of “friendship” from your way.
Take your feelings under control by reminding yourself that your friend is your boss. It can be challenging, but you will succeed eventually.
Do not treat yourself as if you are in a different position because your friend works with you. Objectiveness is about behaving the way you’d behave if you didn’t know anybody and had to judge solely by their performance.
If you are a boss, be realistic about your role and objective concerning your friend’s performance. They are just your employee.
If you are a subordinate, do your best to show what you are capable of as you’d do for any other boss. Do not think that if your manager knows you better, they will inflate your KPIs.
Do not Let Anyone Take Advantage of the Situation
Unfortunately, working together often makes managers and their friends second-guess every action or decision to avoid being judged for favoritism. Given the fact that an office is still a place with fierce competition, this creates room for maneuver for those who plan to take advantage of the situation.
You should never hide personal relationships from others. Yet, you need to make sure they have no problem with your professional one. As a boss, you must be objective and just to build a strong and reliable team. If not, both you and your friend will fall victim to the situation.
Being a friend and a boss requires going the extra mile and remaining especially cautious about what you say and when you do it. However, this is also a great opportunity to test your friendship. The better you cope, the stronger you get.