**By Simon Oates – Leadership Expert Blog - “A Blog for Aspiring Managers” Article
Should You Be ‘Best Buds’ with your Employees?
“So what’s actually wrong with being best mates with some of your subordinates? Well, a few things:
1. What is ‘playful and teasing’ to you, may be pushy and awkward to them. Much like ‘The Office’, your jokes may not be as funny as you think they are. Everyone feels they need to ‘suck up’ to their boss, even slightly. And as such, you might be on the bright side of a strangely shaped friendship. What the friendship looks like to you, may not be what the other party sees it as.
2. Tensions will arise. Imagine you are in the position of seniority, and have the almighty power to select an employee for promotion. If you had remained professional and familiar, but not friendly, to your employees, then whichever decision you make would be respected. If however, one of the employees was your best man, then despite him being the best employee, other staff would remain suspicious of your decision. Did you make it on the grounds of competency, or for other reasons? …
3. ‘It’s nothing personal’. Could you fire an incompetent, inconsiderate, and aggressive employee? I’m sure you could. Could you fire your ‘boistrous’ and ‘spontaneous’ mate? You’d come up against a wall of reasons holding you back. … you should NEVER hire a close friend. I’ve heard so many horror stories of people referring best mates to their organisation, only to slowly experience their friendship wear thin under the stresses of work. Tragic.” – Article