Let’s (Not) Be Friends: Manager-Team Relations

My new blog post at Steyer.net explores Manager motivations around setting boundaries, focusing on issues for contract workers in technical communications.

A little medieval advice sharing

I believe the issues in this post make sense for other kinds of Manager/Team Member relationships. However, the Steyer.net post offers guidelines for workers. Here are some watch-the-line recommendations for managers:

  • Be aware of cliques in your team.
    Avoid joining or encouraging them.
  • Be 100% inclusive in all social invitations, whether for morale-building exercises or holiday parties.
  • Recognize “over sharing” situations.
    If you’re uncomfortable with what you’re hearing about your team member’s personal crisis, it’s time to draw the line.
  • Know how to handle “over sharing”:
    “I’m sympathetic. But  I’m not comfortable knowing more than I should as your manager.”
  • Don’t play psychologist or doctor.
    Know how to refer outward to HR or Benefits resources.
  • If you have doubts about anything, discuss it with your HR partner:
    — Accommodations that are appropriate to offer.
    — How to change repeated conversation from sympathetic listening to active direction.

Me? I’m retired from management and now only provide direct services or consultation. I’m grateful that I no longer have to shoulder the manager’s burden of both caring for and setting boundaries for people that I manage.

About anniepearsonOK

Author of the Rain City series, managing editor of Jugum Press, and writer/project manager for eclectic technical communications projects.

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