You run a remodeling company. You want to be a good boss. Or you just got promoted or got a new job as a Project Manager. Either way, you’ve got people depending you, but you’ve also got to keep your eye on the bottom line.
How are you going to do your job? Isn’t being a manager and being a friend more or less the same thing?
The demands and responsibilities are different. To be effective, you need to know the difference.
A manager works with other people to achieve results. Ideally, those desired results are clearly defined and goals are set to meet them. The goals are referenced when working with the employees being managed.
As a manager, when you clearly define the goals and results, you leave little room for interpretation and deviation.
Make no mistake, managing is hard. You have to take care when setting expectations, and make workers accountable. You have to earn the respect of your employees, and inspire them to do more, and better, than they could on their own.
The relationship between managers and their staffs is primarily objective.
Think of the good managers you’ve worked for. When you think of a good manager, it’s someone who cares about results and helps you do more than you thought you were capable of.
Now think of the good friends you’ve had in your life. They care about you, are there for you. The relationship you share is the most important thing.
A good friend listens. They don’t try and fix things. They slow down and take the time to understand. Advice is offered — but only if you ask for it.
The relationship is primarily a subjective one.
When you think of a good friend, someone who really cares about you comes to mind.
All of us have experience being a friend — OK, at least 99.9% of us do. It comes with being alive and being part of different communities.
But when most of us become managers, we have no experience being one. We got there because we were good workers and moved up the hierarchy, or took a chance and opened a business. Too often, you have no clue how to manage people.
Unfortunately, not much formal training is offered when that happens. Especially when you’re managing people who were your peers, it’s easy to slip into also trying to be their friend at the same time. And nobody wants their friend telling them what to do, how to do it, and when it has to finished.
You have to make a choice — what do you want? You can’t be both. If you don’t want to be a manager, that’s fine.
If you do want to be a manager, now you’re responsible for finding training and learning the skills you need to be successful.
It can be a difficult task, but it’s actually quite similar to how you learned to to be a good carpenter. You read, you watch, you listen, you ask, you try, you screw up — and you learn.
The deal is, you need to decide. It’s impossible to be both a person’s friend and their manager. How do I know? I learned the hard way. My advice is to avoid doing that to yourself.
How do you handle it?
We would love to hear from you if this is something that you’ve struggled with in your business. Is something you’ve been able to overcome? How do you handle the scenario of being a friend and manager to those you work with? Leave a constructive comment below… We would love to hear from you!