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The hill I will die on ....friendships at work

There may be no other topic more important (and divisive) to me than developing friendships at work.

Warning: this might be uncomfortable for some of you😉

Let’s frame up the existing debate.

A. We should not be friends with our coworkers and definitely not our direct reports. We have to separate business from personal.


B. We encourage friendships at work because it builds a better company.

Let’s cut straight to it…..A is ridiculous.

Real friendships at work have no downside. But there are some very important ‘rules’ to play by:

1. Friendships require honesty and transparency

2. Most people confuse friendship with ‘liking someone and hanging out.’

3. Real friendships appreciate professional behavior

4. Real friendships require integrity all the time

It’s easiest to make my point by going straight to people’s biggest fear.

What if I have to fire someone I’m friends with?

Let’s reverse engineer this.