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.

More from Marie Claire:
Career
Share
Meet Gwynne Shotwell, the Woman Who Could Take Us to Mars
Career
Share
Should I Hide My Office Romance?
Career
Share
Apple Is Hiring 50+ Work from Home Positions Right Now
Career
Share
Meet Meteorologist Kait Parker: The Woman Debunking Fake News Surrounding Climate Change
GIF
Career
Share
Words of Wisdom: Marie Claire Editors Share the Best Career Advice They've Ever Received
Career
Share
How Randi Zuckerberg Is Teaching Girls in Tech to Dream Big
Created for Activia
Career
Share
What Do I Do If I'm So Overwhelmed with Work I Can't See Straight?
Career
Share
6 Rules for Work-Life Balance from a Real-Life #GirlBoss
Created for Activia
Career
Share
How This Powerhouse Turned Her Fashion Styling Business into an Empire
Created for Activia
Jimmy Fallon and Jennifer Lawrence | ELLE UK
Career
Share
Study Reveals What We Already Knew: Women Get Harder Job Interviews