• Jennifer Longmore

How Not to Be Too Friendly with Your Team While Still Getting The Stuff That Matters Done

It is common for everyone to desire being liked by the people around us and this is the same even in the workplace. When most of us spend a large amount of our time with colleagues than our family and friends during working days, it is only normal for us to go out of our way and be nice and prove ourselves as well-liked.

But the thing is, being too nice or accommodating (other than your typical social interaction) can have significant consequences in the office. Leaders often find themselves making tough decisions and most of the time, the team is included. Being excessively nice undermines the results of these decisions or in some cases, prevent them altogether. As a leader, you certainly won’t like to be the villain within the group because once your staff starts disliking you, this may affect your team in general and affect your capacity to perform your role.

To avoid the risks of being too friendly with your team, there are several things you can do such as:

  • Knowing when to express gratitude - given the huge quantity of emails you receive as a boss, you must not feel obliged to reply each and every message even with a single word like “Thanks!” However, if your staff has undoubtedly put in some extra effort to get the job done, it will not hurt to acknowledge their effort and let them know that you are thankful for their endeavor. Show your appreciation personally and this will help cement a more professional and respectful relationship.

  • Catch people doing things right - tons of research shows that people perform better when their strengths are celebrated rather than their ‘weaknesses’ being corrected. This is true for any personal or professional relationship for that matter!

  • Offer support with enthusiasm – as a leader, you must be able to presume whether a particular project or task your team is working on could be a turning point and provide the necessary support whenever you can. You can anticipate this without being too friendly with your staff. You don’t have to regularly chat with them for you to know when they can use a hand from high up.

  • Always be there – make sure you are there when your team needs you the most. You don’t have to break the professional barrier and start being cozy with them. As a leader, your presence is required especially during critical moments.

  • Establish boundaries vs. rules - boundaries actually allow us to feel safer in relationships because it creates a solid container and unnecessary effort is not spent trying to figure out ‘the rules’ - creating peace of mind for your team goes a long way.

You can always be a likeable boss even without being too friendly with your team. Always remember to set boundaries so you won’t compromise your work.

Be the model to inspire respect and admiration.

Leave a comment below about what may have been helpful about this friendly reminder!

To your success,

Jennifer xo

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