Is it possible to be friends with my boss?
by Teo Beng Wee
Branding and Graphic Designer
I’m sure we all know the saying “Never Do Business With Friends” because misunderstandings or differing visions will not only affect the business, it may also break the friendship. Here’s another question we surely have thought of, “Is it possible to be friends with my boss?”
Personally, I think the answer depends on certain factors and the situation one is in. Here are some perspectives you may want to consider when you start to foster such a relationship.
Be mindful of biases that may affect professional judgement
Pay attention to the professional situations that require your unbiased judgment and more personal situations in which you can joke around as friends. You’re ultimately still employed as a professional and may sometimes need to stand up to your boss or challenge some of his/her opinions in a respectful way.
Keep the relationship authentic
Being real matters and it’s important that we ask ourselves if we genuinely like the other party beyond the workplace and if the relationship is natural. Your relationship with your boss should not hold any hidden agendas and it should be an exchange that is natural and something you genuinely want to cultivate.
Include others in the relationship
Being friends with your boss shouldn’t become an exclusive club that leaves out the rest of your colleagues. When you include others in the relationship, increased shared understanding builds camaraderie and friendship between yourself, your boss and your fellow colleagues. This in turn bonds the team and could translate into greater collaboration within the team.
From my point of view, it’s possible to become friends with your boss but you should be mindful of the situations that call you to be a colleague, or a friend. If you’re able to manage the balance between these two roles, your friendship with your boss might make it easier for the both of you to speak authentically with each other and encourage greater collaboration.