Treading the fine line between having a friendly relationship with your boss/manager while maintaining a professional distance can sometimes be tricky, especially if your boss carries a candid demeanor, expresses interest in honest one-to-one conversations and likes to joke around.
However, it is important to remember that no matter how friendly you might be with your manager/boss, there is always a line that needs to be respected and not to be crossed.
It is not recommended to be on back-slapping terms with your boss; this can make things chaotic as professional and personal equations overlap. Determining where this line shall be drawn is important for employees. The more mature employees are able to identify it sooner.
Here are five things you must be mindful of while maintaining a relationship with your boss.
Keep your personal life to yourself
Sharing too many details about your personal life with your boss is not a very good idea, even if the latter is very warm and welcoming.
There are certain facets of an individual that should be kept to oneself. While it might seem harmless initially, it might lead to uncomfortable situations later.
For instance, there might be times when your superior may become too intrusive or may go ahead and discuss your affairs with another colleague with whom he/she shares a good rapport. You might not like it and may find it difficult to complain since whatever said and done, he/she is your boss.
Read: MBA India vs MBA abroad
Don’t share all feedback
While sharing feedback with your manager on the daily dealings at the workplace is a good practice and many managers welcome it, you have to be careful in what you share and what you refrain from.
Do not take your seniors at face value. Be a good judge of the situation. There might be certain things they would not like to hear even if he/she insists they are open to criticism. There is no point sharing those aspects that might make them uncomfortable.
Never be too direct
Managers are also human and may not appreciate too much candor. Dressing your words in diplomacy is the key. One should always choose their words carefully and never be too blunt. Do not tell your employer directly that he or she has been unfair to a colleague or has shown favoritism towards someone.
Never open all your cards
You might be ambitious and eager to prove your worth or may be looking at long term career goals and need mentoring, but it is not advisable to open yourself up completely to your supervisor.
There are times when even you might not be sure of what you want for yourself. Sharing too much about your aspirations can go against you if you change your mind later. Be careful, assess the direction of your career and open up one bit at a time.
Respect the integrity of your relationships with other colleagues
There are things that your colleagues or juniors might tell you in confidence. The integrity of such relationships and such conversations should be respected. You need not repeat everything to your employer, even if you are his/her close confidante. This is more of an ethical aspect that a professional one.
– The article is written by Rajeev Bhardwaj, Vice President-Human Resource, Sun Life Financial
For more articles on jobs, click here