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Manager NOT Friend!

Updated on December 7, 2012

In the article Respect, Not Friendship, Is What A Manager Needs, by Victor Lipman, it talks about how it is better the be respected and keep a certain professional distance as a manager. With new managers it is more important to understand your role and to not cross the boundaries into friendship with the people you are in charge of.The same applies for top managers even though it is less likely to occur with lower level subordinates. He implies that friendship can impede the manager’s decisions because of emotional ties to the employee instead of professional.

With new managers it is hard to come into a position and not try to become friends with employees. A new manager most of the time wants to be liked by his coworkers to try and maintain the “cool boss” status. This situation especially happens when the manager used to be peers with the people they are now accountable for. It takes a lot of discipline to set up a professional relationship without personal or emotional relationships getting in the way.

Managers that have been in the business of management for a longer time are less likely to establish friendship relations with employees. Although when working for a company for many years it is hard not to gain less than strictly professional relationships with some employees that you have worked with for many years. It is important for managers when making important decisions to not let friendships get in the way of these decisions. With upper level management they have to make decisions sometimes which can affect an employee’s overall lifestyle.

As it is not the same for every manager and obviously different management styles work for different people, it is important to stay professional. Building rapport and gaining respect are important parts of being a manager. Managers do not have to be friends with their employees to get them to be motivated and work. Someone who is respected with an obvious care for employees which is created over time will still produce the motivation and desire to needed to achieve the goals and objectives of the company in a very efficient manner. In the end whether a manager keeps that professional distance or is their employees best friend, they will need to make decisions. Some will be good and some will be bad but they all need to be made with the business in mind without an emotional factor to make it even more challenging for both parties.


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    • cmlindblom profile image

      Chris 5 years ago from middletown, ct

      That was my mistake first time in charge because I was their peer a week before. I had to make the choice to seperate myself.

    • INFJay profile image

      Jay Manriquez 5 years ago from Santa Rosa, California

      Interesting topic. I have found that in the workplace developing professional relationships is key for being a successful manager, supervisor, leader, etc. Often times personal friendships develop that could put a manager in a difficult position when a "business decision" negatively impacts the friendship. Workplace relationships can be very tricky, to say the least.