How Do I Draw the Friendship Line at Work?

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Dear Cubicle Coach: I've just been bumped up to management, and I'm the same age as many of those I'll be supervising. I was advised by my boss to "be friendly" with my reports, but don't be their friend. Where do I draw the line?

Dear Friendly: A popular CC query, and a tough one. We're going to pray that two weeks before your promotion, this same crowd didn't see you pulling a Coyote Ugly at the local Chili's. It's always better to start off more formally and loosen up later. Reestablishing control after trying to be buddy-buddy? Cannot be done. Same-age reports are often more difficult than older ones, who may be resigned to their mid-level status, while peers tend to think, Hey, why her and not me? Being friendly with reports means being respectful of their needs, desires, and abilities. Being friends with reports means hanging out after work, sharing confidences, letting your hair down. Do that, and you won't be their boss for long.

Career
Share
8 Signs You're Accidentally the Mean Girl at Work
Created for UnREAL
Career
Share
Who Makes More Money—Women Who Wear Makeup or Women Who Don't?
Career
Share
The Totally Counterintuitive Thing Science Says You Should Do to Your Résumé
Career
Share
4 Sh*tty Work Situations That Get Better When You Speak Up
Created for UnREAL
Career
Share
The Biggest Mistake I Made At Work: Sarah McCarry
Career
Share
How This Female Cardiac Surgeon Remains Cool As Ice in the OR
Career
Share
Inside the Life of Poker Queen Helen Ellis
Career
Share
The 9 Types of Obnoxious Personalities at Every Single Office
Career
Share
A Day in the Life of the Ultimate Girl Boss
Created for UnREAL
GIF
Career
Share
*How* Much Do You Get Paid for a Post? A Beginner's Guide to the Business of Blogging