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Your boss: Friend or foe?
As an employee one is often torn between getting too close and acting too formal and reserved towards our superiors. But which is the right distance to the boss?
From a team leader's perspective this ain't always easy either. The relationship between managers and employees is a balancing act between two opposing principles: human closeness and professional distance. A good leader sure does to commit employees emotionally, but should be able to maintain a professional attitude that allows effective communication and decision making within the group.
Employees fight basically the same conflict as their superiors. How much personal can or should you get? The unapproachable, controlled and rational type of manager is usually not the one who inspires people, occasionally wasting a talent that only had to be lured out of its bearer. On the other hand overly compassionate bosses lack the necessary assertiveness and authority, appearing irrational and decision weak.
Thus the difficulty is to find the right balance, for both bosses and staff. Of course every industry, every company and every team has its own rules. But there are certain general rules of conduct that help to establish the right balance between closeness and distance. Finding it is most important for small teams in which the employees and managers must rely on each other.
Acting detached towards your boss usually ain't much helpful. Especially if the boss seems inapproachable you want to being properly noticed. You want to be visible enough within the team and be able to address its leader directly. Yet you should always listen to your feelings and respect your borders. Nobody can force you into drinking alcohol or singing karaoke if you don't want to.
No to mention flirting with your superior. Consider wisely if you want to get this personal with him or her. Still if you won't feel uncomfortable with such situation consider the effects of having a work affair. Maybe it's gonna become the love of your life, but with a much higher likelihood it will make things very complicated for you. Separating private life and work is really hard for both you and your boss.
Generally speaking the key to a balance between proximity and distance to your co-workers is an honest and consistent relationship as well as fair value management. Don't forget to share with us your worst experience with getting too close or being too distant to your superiors.
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