I have recently moved to a management position. The people I now manage are guys who have become my friends during my time at work. What I am trying to figure out is how do I maintain my workplace friendships and still get my job done as their manager?
I have to remind myself that our interactions at the office are not personal. Work is work and we can be friends after hours. During the work day I need to stay professional and deal with the work related issues required of me. I want to remain part of my team’s social group but also have to earn and maintain the respect I need to be an effective leader.
Another distinction to try make is, as a friend, I want to help them with tasks to make it easier or support them. But as their manager, I need to let go and allow them to complete it themselves. It is not possible to manage someone else’s feelings, instead I need to focus on doing the best job I can and make my team feel like they have a supportive leader who empowers them to do a great job.
I want to make a positive contribution to the team so I shall aim to make the transition to manager as smooth as possible. I realise I won’t be able to please everybody, even though it’s in my nature to do this. I will either kill myself trying or find a way to turn my attention to concentrating on managing the majority effectively.