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  • louellafrostcoachi

From Buddy to Boss

Do you line manage someone who is your friend?

This situation is a common worry of new managers, who may find it a little awkward or tricky to navigate. Rest assured, it’s OK to feel unsure, and this may well be a situation that you’d like to bring to a support session with your own manager, or to a professional coach. Here are a few strategies to get you started:

  • You may feel a range of emotions about the inevitable change in the nature of your relationship, so acknowledge your emotions and get support to work through them, as needed.

  • Raise the new professional relationship that you now have with your team member, and ask them if they have any worries or issues they feel that might present hurdles for them. Listen carefully and address those concerns, this will show them that you acknowledge what might be going on for them and are committed to having a great working relationship.

  • Be consistent in your expectations of what and how they will perform their role, as you are for any other team member; and treat them the same way you would with any other of your direct reports. You don’t have to hide your friendship with your other team members, however they will need to feel that there is complete consistency in the way you support all of your team.

  • Steer conversations at work, to professional topics, and avoid bringing up any personal information that you are aware of in the friendship context, in the work environment.

  • Be open to seeking your own support along the way, if there are bumps in the road either professionally or personally, in your relationship with this person. As the leader, your mindful and authentic attention to this working relationship will set the scene for your shared success.

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