Dear All,

I have a new employee that started recently in my team. My problem is the following: I'm a naturally smily and friendly person and I'm not sure how to be with this new employee. My first reflex was to be myself but I don't want to appear to close to the employee since I'm his boss ( << with a red sign over my head that says: "I can fire you anytime ! " >> to quote Mike).

Obviously I'm a learning manager ;-).

Any advices/experiences would be welcomed.




afmoffa's picture


Don't ever confuse "guiding and directing someone's behavior" with "being unfriendly." You can be someone's boss without being "bossy."

Smile all you want. Be cheerful, be friendly, be down-to-earth if that's the style that suits you. If you played a major role in hiring him, if you will play a major role in assigning him work tasks, and if you would play a major role in any decision to terminate him (i.e. if you're his boss), then all the smiling and friendliness in the world won't permit him to lose sight of who is in charge.

Some of the worst bosses (least pleasant and least effective) are those genuinely nice people who cultivate an artificial air of superiority or detachment because they think that's what bosses do. Nice people who affect meanness invariably overdo it. For that matter, cold or clinical managers who suddenly act all chummy at the annual Christmas party are similarly ineffective.

Don't become best friends with your direct reports, and don't force your friendship on those employees who prefer a more formal relationship with you, their boss. But absolutely be yourself.

Mark's picture
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Be yourself (your smart self).

And, smile at folks on the way up, because you'll see them on the way back down.

Civility and pleasantness are career advantages.