How New Managers Can Get the Boss/Friend Balance Right

Team dynamics can make or break a workplace, and managing relationships with your team members can be one of the trickiest things about management.

Especially if you’re a new manager.

Maybe you’ve been moved from another department to manage the team.

Or maybe you’ve been promoted to manage a team of people you consider to be your friends.

It makes sense that you might try to win them over and act more like a friend than a boss. But from a people management point of view, this can put you in a difficult situation. If your team members see you as a friend rather than a boss, they might not respect your leadership.

HR managers see so many team, disciplinary, and performance issues that arise from situations like this. People management can be a balancing act. You need your team to respect your leadership and you have to be able to make tough decisions, but you also need to show people that you care.  Here’s why you need to get the balance right when you start managing a team.

Boss versus friend: why you need to get the balance right

  • Management involves making tough decisions and giving people feedback that they might not want to hear. This can be very difficult if you’re too close to someone. It’s almost impossible to be impartial.
  • You might be accused of favouritism if you offer the best opportunities and rewards to the people you’re closest to. This will cause resentment and disengagement in the team.
  • Nobody is above disciplinary action. If someone is not performing or there are other issues around their conduct, you need to deal with it, and not turn a blind eye because someone is a friend.

Things for new managers to remember

You might protest that you’re a nice person and you’re not going to suddenly develop a tough exterior and heart of stone because you’re a manager now. You don’t have to.

But you don’t have to be a team member’s best friend either.

You can be supportive without getting too personal

If someone is struggling or going through something, you can empathise and offer support without getting too involved.

You don’t have to be their best friend to want them to succeed

As a manager, you don’t have to be someone’s best friend to help them develop and grow. It’s part of your role as their mentor.

People will value you more if you’re honest

You might not want to give negative feedback to someone you consider a friend, but if it’s done in the right way, it can help them grow. Your job is to lead and guide them professionally and effectively, and they won’t thrive if you’re allowing them to just coast along.

There are plenty of ways that you can win the trust and respect of your team without feeling like you need to be everyone’s friend. Managing people can be the toughest part of the job, but when it’s done skillfully, it’s satisfying and rewarding for you, the team, and the business.

Are you a leader who’s constantly dealing with issues around your managers and their teams?

  • Do you know that there are deep-rooted issues in teams but you just don’t have the time to get to the bottom of them and sort them out?
  • Are disciplinary and performance issues landing on your desk when they shouldn’t be; if only managers had the experience, skills, and confidence to lead their teams effectively and get things back on track!

As your leadership mentor and team fixer, I can help you get to the bottom of what’s really going on, and come up with a solution to fix the problem and help the business move forward.

I am a safe pair of hands who has years of experience of trouble-shooting team and manager problems so let me take some of the weight off your shoulders.

When you work with me:

  • You’ll rediscover your passion for your job and you’ll have time to breathe.
  • New and accidental managers will feel confident and supported to lead their teams effectively.
  • Teams will be more engaged and productive, and they’ll want to go the extra mile.

Sounds good?

Book a discovery call now to discuss how my leadership mentoring can help you.

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