Being A Boss While Having Friends As Colleagues

April 7, 2022

Being A Boss While Having Friends As Colleagues

Although having friends at work creates a happier workplace, it can also make things complicated when authority is involved. Friendships can be complicated, especially when it involves an employee and their direct supervisor.

There are several risks involved when you take your relationship with a colleague to the next level. It not only disrupts the dynamics of the team but might also affect the productivity of your ‘friend’ and other team members who might think your favours are directed to that particular person.

If you are dealing with something similar, consider enrolling in our Communication at Work workshop. By understanding your personal communication style and how you interact with others, you can create a positive, productive workplace. We will help you assess your natural strengths and how your communication style changes under stress.

As one of the mediation training experts in Manitoba, we believe it is up to us to help you deal with similar situations. Hence, we have curated this blog to help you understand the stance that you should take as a leader.

If you are working as a boss but your colleagues are your friends, you have to adopt a certain stance that will help you draw a line between your personal relationship with the person and your professional relationship.

Objectives Of The Course

Participants attending this workshop will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn a common language with which coworkers can discuss, problem solve and reach agreements about improving workplace communications
  • Practice specific strategies for “bringing out the best” in themselves and others
  • Understand what is most likely to “bring out the worst” in others
  • Identify aspects of troublesome behaviours which have the potential to be changed and those which are highly resistant to change, characteristics that are likely better accepted as “in the nature” of a person’s style

Being A Boss When Your Coworkers Are Your Friends

If you were recently promoted as the person in charge of your colleagues who are also your friends or if you recently transferred to a location where your subordinates are your friends, feeling awkward is natural.

However, dealing with this situation is not as difficult as it may seem. There are several steps that you can take to lessen the discomfort, including the following:

Have The Conversation

Instead of hoping that the uneasiness will magically disappear, have a conversation with each member of your team who was previously a peer. If you avoid this step, there is a high chance that things will become uncomfortable in the future. Moreover, you have to understand that your peers might be having the same feelings, so it is best to talk things out.

While talking things out, it is important that you acknowledge the discomfort. You can start by saying “I realize that since I’ve become your supervisor, our relationship has changed.” Or “Things have become a little awkward since I became the team leader.”

It does not matter what your exact words are, you just have to make sure that you efficiently communicate your sentiment.

Admit Uncertainty

This might sound like a difficult step but understanding and acknowledging that awkwardness creates uncertainty will help the other person realize that things might be a little different moving forward. The key is that you acknowledge your vulnerability and make the other person understand that the change in your position might affect yours and their relationship at the workplace.

Ask For Support

While talking about the change that will affect your friendship, also ask for support. Tell your peer that you are glad they understand and that you will need all the support moving forward. There is no doubt that becoming the supervisor created doubt and insecurity for your friends. These elements can fracture the foundation of any relationship. So when you involve them by asking for their support, you are sending a very powerful message by communicating that you need your friend.

About Us

Mediation Services in Winnipeg offers training programs to help you learn mediation and leadership skills. We conduct online zoom and asynchronous webinars for different issues. Such modules will help you to improve your communication and solve family, workplace, and personal conflicts. To check out our training courses, visit this link here or contact us for further assistance.


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