We are living in an increasingly mobile society. “Until-death-do-us-part” marriages are becoming rare. Many of us can no longer depend on our extended families for social support. So where do we turn to fill in the gaps? Our friends. And, for busy professionals work is often where our friends are.
Meeting friends at work:
Sometimes we meet friends at work, befriending the boss, a co-worker or an employee. Sometimes we hire our friends into our workplaces. Sometimes we go into business with our friends. In any event, adding a layer of friendship onto a business relationship can bring both benefits and the potential for disaster.
Work-friends are easily accessible:
Work-friends are easily accessible. Together for long periods of time, we typically share interests, experiences, a professional identity, and a common history. These friends can listen, console, advise, teach, share and support. So a workplace friendship can often provide you with an improved understanding of your world and yourself.
Pros of work-friends:
Whether the friend is one that you hired into the workplace or one you met at work, friendship often brings team strength, more efficient decision-making, and effective conflict management. For women, especially, friendship can create a supportive business culture that discourages political behavior and promotes candor, self-disclosure, communication, tolerance, and cooperation
Work friends’ cons:
Then again, a work environment companionship can be unfavorable to a vocation. Suggest sharing and over the top exposure to a collaborator can return and chomp you in the nose. Moreover, settling on choices in light of companionship – disregarding what is best for the business or your vocation – can be proficient suicide. What’s more, a soured kinship can overflow into the work environment, disturbing and diverting.
Companions who are exceptionally required with each other inside and outside of work frequently have an additionally confiding in relationship. In any case, this nearby association may likewise welcome extreme relational clash that brings the potential for either inciting a revolting end to the relationship or giving noteworthy mindfulness – it can go in any case.
Business visionaries tend to discover the two companions and business accomplices at work. Chances are you will go to a work-friend first when you want to start a new business since you already have a working relationship. However, business ownership typically brings about a change in a friendship and this change can be either positive or negative.
Friendship can serve to keep you or your business partner connected to your business. Women, especially, may stay involved, passing up more attractive opportunities because of the bonds of friendship.
Starting out with a higher level of friendship:
Starting out with a higher level of friendship typically leads a business’ founding team to rely more on implicit agreements and less on written contracts. So difficult issues may be sidestepped and only addressed when the team has begun to encounter operational problems. Of course, it is better to discuss these issues while the partners are still within the window of venture enthusiasm and working friendship. However, often no one wants to shake up the honeymoon.
Six tips for keeping the bonds strong:
Strong relationships, partnerships and friendships benefit from honest and open communication. Is there a discussion that you have been avoiding? Is your connection to the friend, business partner, or co-worker strong enough to make it through a tough talk? If not the relationship may not be worth keeping. But, if it is, here are six tips for keeping the bonds strong even when it’s time to put your cards on the table.
- Prepare. Make some notes about the situation and your feelings. Write about where you are, where you want to be, and how you might get there.
- Set the stage. Sit down at a time when you are both clear headed and able to give this important conversation the time and energy it deserves.
- Speak from the heart. Do not point fingers of blame. Rather center on finding an answer that works for both of you. This is joint effort.
- Give yourselves an opportunity to think, process the data, and chill off.
- Don’t leave clashes uncertain. A settlement on a truce is determination. Leaving the contention open sets you up for future battles.
- If all else falls flat, contract an expert to help you. Regularly an outside conclusion reveals insight into your blind sides and helps achieve understanding.