By Darryl Stewart, Head of the Herd
If you feel right about becoming friends with your team then do it. Don’t give in to those that believe you should keep a professional distance. People respond to us best when we are our authentic selves. Listening to advice to keep your distance when your heart tells you otherwise makes you less authentic.
When it comes right down to it and the worst fear of the “keep your distance crowd” comes true and someone needs to lose their job, who would you rather hear it from? Some antiseptic manager you barely know or someone you know has your best interest at heart and knows who you are? Someone who gave you feedback all along that your performance was slipping, someone who tried hard to help you “make it”? Someone who let you go in a caring way and will stay your friend afterwards?
A job is just a job, but friends are hard to come by, and I will take them any way I can get them. Friends tell each other the truth. Great friendships survive incredible adversity. Working with friends makes work seem much less like work and far more like fun with a purpose. If the worst that can happen is that I may one day have to tell a friend that their current job is over (but not our friendship) and the best that can happen is that every day of our work life together seems far more like fun than work, the choice is easy for me.