Being a leader can be a challenge when you’re trying to navigate the fine line between being a boss and a friend to your team. It’s essential to build strong relationships with the people you work with, particularly if you’re in a team environment, but there must also be an understanding of areas of respect, authority and productivity. So how do you strike a balance between being a friend and a boss?
It’s important to recognise that there are certain responsibilities which come with being the boss. This includes making difficult decisions, assessing and evaluating people’s performance, and remaining neutral. Unwarranted favouritism will be noticed by your team and can create resentment. As a leader, you must also be mindful of when it’s appropriate to show support and understanding of your team, and when it’s appropriate to be deliberately critical when necessary.
Equally, it’s entirely possible to be friendly and supportive of your team without sacrificing your authority. When creating an atmosphere of trust and respect, it’s important to show that you care about your team and their personal lives, as well as their professional ones. Be honest and fair in all your dealings, and don’t make decisions for personal gain.
It is possible to strike a balance between being a friend and a boss by maintaining a consistent level of authority and respect, while also being supportive and understanding of your team. Creating a positive atmosphere where individuals feel comfortable and have the space to learn and grow is key to success.
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