MYTH #9: I must be friends with everyone in my team

TRUTH: You’re their manager first, not friend

Many managers focus on making sure they’re friends with the people they manage.


  • How can you be sure your friendship won’t influence your management?
  • What happens when you need to make a tough call or decision?

If you have crossed the line into friendship, the boundaries could be blurred and your judgement could be badly affected.

Friendly does not mean friends

Getting to know your team personally and being friendly with them does not necessarily mean becoming close friends with them. It is very important that you also maintain your position in the relationship as their manager.

“Being a great manager means being respected, not necessarily always liked”

Avoiding tough calls to remain popular makes you a bad manager

This is not a playground or a popularity contest. It’s a business where results count. That means you must care for your team, but you must also put the needs of the business first.


Focus on doing the right thing and you’ll be respected; sometimes for being brave enough to go against the popular opinion.

You’ll have to make some tough, unpopular calls now and again.

TAKEAWAY: Manager, not friend

Managing people who you’re friends with already?

  • Are you managing a team where you were already friends with them?
  • Are you spending more time with some of your team socially?

Avoid a problem before it happens

Take them aside for a quick chat and explain that your relationship at work must remain professional and unbiased.

If at any time they don’t respect those boundaries at work, then reduce the social time you spend with that person ASAP.

They clearly don’t respect your friendship enough, so draw a line under it!

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