I wanted to get more information about friends in the workplace from a previous podcast episode from a while back in which I am still struggling on.

  I must say that I disagree right now with the no friends in the workplace policy for managers. I was reading some articles about the topic, and I am firmly rooted in the belief that managers need to show favoritism and friendship in the workplace.

I do agree with the premise presented, that it is reasonable within a mid-sized company, and especially a large company, that a manager's work, friend, and family time constraints do not allow a manager  to meet with every direct.
However, I believe that in a small sized company a manager has the time to be friends with all the directs. I think this would foster a close-knit team that is dependable and successful. I also think this would keep a team together, especially in high turnover career fields, perhaps an example would be the film or software design industries.

If there can be more information about this topic either on another podcast or on the forums I would be really thrilled as I am still not convinced or feel that I have the entirety of the information understood. 



teaguek122's picture

Also, as an employee how do I climb the professional ladder without becoming friends with the boss, and higher-ups?

That would seem to be my goal in order to be promoted, so if, as the employee, I am supposed to become the friend of the manager, how is the manager not supposed to be friends with the employee?

But what do I do concerning friendship as the employee?


mike_bruns_99's picture
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Hi TEAGUEK122,  Please make sure you listen to the 2-part podcast, "Can I be friends with my direct?"  It will answer most of your questions in detail.  Many other podcasts touch on the subject, but the 2-part podcast addresses the subject.  

Also, I don't think you wanted to use the word "favoritism'"   A manager showing favoritism to a direct is very harmful to the team. 

teaguek122's picture

 Hey, so I forgot to add that I have listened to the podcast on "Can I be friends with my direct"
and I still wanted some clarification on the topic.

I think I see what you're saying Mike, about the difference between "favoritism" and being "friendly" but perhaps
you could clarify this a little more for me.

Hopefully there are more future podcasts on this subject as I am still confused over something that
on the surface seems simple enough. Maybe a career tools point of view is what I am looking for.


mike_bruns_99's picture
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It's fine to be friendly with your directs, treating them professionally, and having a good relationship with them. In fact, building a good relationship with a direct is the goal of many of the manager-tools.

However, a manager's responsibility is to the organization first, and the team second.

Favoritism is giving one direct special treatment when it's not tied to effectiveness.  If two directs are equally effective, but one get's special projects, treatment, or praise, it brings down the effectiveness of the entire team.

The best example is with layoffs. A manager's obligation is to make the best decision for the organisation. Being friends or showing favoritism to a direct is an inherent conflict of interest.