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Why You Shouldn't 'Friend' Your Employees

Strike a balance between the personal and professional

By Joel Schwartzberg - December 17, 2012
Managing employees isn't easy, especially when the ink may still be drying on your promotion, but striking just the right interpersonal chord with your staff is crucial for both your fulfillment and theirs. You want your employees to like you, but also respect you. You want to stand with them, but also have them know where you stand. Yet, the line between boss and buddy can sometimes be hard to detect.

"It's not uncommon for many new supervisors to cross the line in either direction -- they can become too friendly and then can't discipline, or they can become too strong of an authority figure and turn staff off," explained executive coach and management consultant Kathi Elster, co-author of Working With You Is Killing Me.

So, how do you foster an honest, trusting relationship with your staff when you're the one handling their performance evaluations? Below, workplace experts offer tips that can put you in the best position to both supervise and support your crew.


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