Ep 62 // #AskAkua - Should You Be Friends With Your Employees?
Should a boss, CEO, or company leader be friends with employees? On this #AskAkua episode, Certified Executive Leadership Coach Akua Nyame-Mensah delves into her experience and perspective regarding friendships and relationships at work.
Depending on the culture in which you work, industry and sector, and even the stage of the organization's growth, relationships, and their meanings can vary. And because no leader is the same, friendships can look different from person to person. But no matter what, when it comes to being a leader, it's imperative to maintain respect, treat employees and teams equally, and have appropriate boundaries.
Find out Akua's three-step framework for deciding how to approach workplace relationships, starting with a core leadership tool - cultivating self-awareness. She'll also discuss issues you, as a leader, should focus on to ensure productive employees who are comfortable approaching you for support.
Highlights in this Episode:
- Akua talks about the difference between being "friends" and being "friendly" in the workplace.
- Because all leaders are different, leaders need to define friendship and what that means to them and their unique situation.
- To help evaluate your relationships with employees, it can be helpful to reflect on a past relationship you had with a boss and what felt comfortable to you. Akua uses a former boss as an example.
- Being friendly as a boss means you are approachable, polite, and (appropriately) vulnerable.
- Leaders should not aim for friendship but should create an environment where people feel comfortable coming to them for support and advocating for themselves in the workplace.
- Akua talks about the importance of psychological safety and whether team members enjoy working together.
- Akua discusses her 3 step framework for evaluating friendships at work.
- A workplace should not be viewed as "family," as this can be a manipulative term. Employees are not family - they are there to hold each other responsible in an intentional and human way.
- A leader's boundaries should be clear and communicated often.
Are you interested in having more conversations like this with other leaders? These are the kinds of conversations we will have in my new community and container. If you are an action-oriented and accomplished professional who is pivoting into service-based entrepreneurship and are ready to get out of theory and into practice, join my waitlist to cut through the noise and get to the money here: www.akuanm.com/cheatcode