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
How Marne Levine Landed One of Silicon Valley's Most Coveted Jobs
Career
Share
Sarah Michelle Gellar's Second Act? Disrupting the Food Industry
Career
Share
Starbucks Employees Speak Out: Why Don't Baristas Get the Same Maternity Leave as Corporate Workers?
Google wage gap
Career
Share
Discrimination Against Women Is "Extreme" at Google
Career
Share
Rejoice: You'll Get 20 Percent Off at These Retailers on Equal Pay Day
Career
Share
YouTube Star Lilly Singh Shares Her Bawse Moves for Total Career Domination
Career
Share
This Company Is Paying Someone $10,000 a Month to Travel and Live in Luxury Homes
Career
Share
Proof That Big Risks Pay Off: 3 Women Who Owe Their Success to Not Playing It Safe
GIF
Career
Share
Why This Model Left the Glitzy World of Fashion for the Gritty Life of Bullfighting
Career
Share
What I Wish I Said to the Recruiter Who Shamed Me into a Lower Salary