The Leadership Balance Between Personal and Professional
Even though the title may seem like it, this isn’t a post about work-life balance. It is about how leaders can balance being personal with their staff while still remaining professional. It is sometimes a very fine line.
Leaders spend a lot of time with those that work for them. In order to have an effective relationship, or better yet, an authentic relationship, it is sometimes necessary to share a bit about your personal lives. We talk about our kids, our pets, where we grew up and more. It’s easy to build deep relationships with people we see day in and day out and are very aware of their personal struggles. It’s easy to even move beyond supervisor-subordinate to friends.
When leaders become close friends with those who directly report to them, lines get blurry, especially if the friendship isn’t extended to the entire team but only one or two people. The perception of favoritism often rears its ugly head. The rest of the team’s engagement and morale is often impacted and after a while, people just figure that no matter what they do or how hard they work, the only person that the boss is going to recognize is the “friend”.