With as much time as you spend at your job, it’s only natural that you’ll form friendships with co-workers you see every day. When you begin to develop a close bond with your boss, the line between your personal and professional relationship oftentimes becomes blurred.
Many companies prefer that employees do not socialize with their supervisor or manager outside of work to prevent potential problems from happening. But, how about the organizations that don’t have the same strict policies when it comes to superiors hanging out with their staff?
Here are seven do’s and don’ts to remember when buddying up with your boss.
Do: Always Respect Your Boss’ Authority
Even if you and your boss regularly grab drinks at happy hour or go out to lunch together, you need to remember that your boss is still your higher-up. There will be times when your supervisor or manager has to reprimand you or give you specific directions regarding your work. Don’t think it’s okay to brush off what they’re telling you because you guys are cool. Remember – they are your boss first and your friend second.
Don’t: Parade Your Friendship around the Workplace
While it may not be necessary to hide your relationship with your boss, you should never rub it in your colleague’s faces either. Doing so will only spark rumors, creating tension and animosity in the workplace. Plus, you could lose friendships with other co-workers who don’t have the same relationship with your boss as you do.
Do: Include Others at Your Job
Just because you and your boss get along great doesn’t mean you should exclude others at your job. If you’re heading out somewhere together during or after work, extend the invitation to your co-workers. Not only will you be seen as fair, but it will help keep a sense of comradery among everyone in the workplace.
Don’t: Expect to Get Special Treatment
When tough situations arise, your boss may have your back, but needs to be able to justify doing so. Especially when they have to report to the head honcho above them. Should your boss ever be confronted regarding favoritism, they will need to prove the merits you receive are based on being a stellar employee and nothing else. Also, never expect to climb the corporate ladder quicker than everyone else. Getting a better position or being promoted should come as a result of hard work- not friendship.
Do: Have Open Communication
It can be complicated to balance the personal and professional relationships you have with your boss. Try and make an effort to openly communicate about any conflicts, concerns, or problems that come up. You may also want to discuss any boundaries that should be set in place, so you are clear of any expectations right from the start.
Don’t: Feel the Need to Become Friend’s on Social Media
Let’s be honest – do you really want your boss to know everything you do in your personal life? Being friends with your boss on social media means that not only will you have to censor some posts but you may also have to do some major explaining. For example – why you think it’s okay to sleep at your desk after drinking until 2am on a Tuesday night.
Do: Keep Things Professional
Don’t do things like getting wasted, oversharing personal information, or being inappropriate with words or physical touching. Your boss is still your boss. So, go to dinner, enjoy some cocktails, or try that new yoga studio in the area. Always remain respectful and keep yourself out of situations that could cost you your job.
Practicing these do’s and avoiding these don’ts will allow you to keep an ethical relationship with your boss without attracting too much negative attention from the rest of your co-workers.
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