When it comes to our careers, we often talk about managing up (if you are an employee) or how to better support employees (if you’re a manager). Yet is it possible for managers and employees to develop friendships beyond the professional relationship in the office?
One expert says no. Alison Greene, who writes at Ask A Manager, recently explained why manager-employee friendships just don’t work:
Managers who try to be friends with their staff run into all sorts of problems. First and foremost, attempting to ignore that professional boundary doesn’t change the fact that you in are in a position of power over them. Your job is to judge their work and make decisions that could affect their livelihoods, so you are inherently on unequal footing. You need to be objective enough that you can honestly evaluate their work, give direct feedback, and even potentially fire someone one day. You might think that you can do that while still being friends, but you probably can’t, despite your best intentions – and even if you really can, others won’t believe you can, so you’ll still be dealing with a perception problem.