by DANNY RUBIN
The results are in, and the answer is clear: Facebook and bosses do not mix.
A recent poll from survey site SodaHead and feedback site YouTell finds that 81 percent of people don’t want to be friends with their boss on Facebook.
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Eighty-one percent? OK, forget about Facebook. What truly matters is your relationship in the real world. How do you become friends in the office and not come across like a brown-noser? It’s a delicate dance, for sure, but with the right approach it can be done.
How to be Friends with Your Boss and Not Look Like a Suck-Up
The employee-boss relationship is a tenuous one. When you start out, it can feel like you’re tip-toeing on the rim of an active volcano. One slip-up or dumb answer, and you’ll get burned. The boss doesn’t know you and might consider an honest mistake a major flaw.
Early on, your primary concern is not to forge a friendship. Instead, you need to:
Work like hell to earn the boss’s trust
When he gives you an assignment, attack it. If there’s an opportunity to go above and beyond, take it. If the task is nothing but painstaking busy work, do it with a smile.
Once you prove that you are 100% willing to bust it for the company (and can get results), the relationship with your boss will start to evolve. You began as strangers but through your actions, your boss learns he can rely on you little by little.
The bedrock of a strong office relationship is hard work. Not by topping off the boss’s coffee or slapping your knee at every bad joke. The brown-nosing route is a sign of weakness that a boss will exploit. Genuine effort will endear you to management and prove your worth.
Once you gain the boss’s trust, you may not have to push for the friendship. It’ll come about naturally because you have a mutual understanding. That doesn’t give you carte blanche to take two hour lunches or goof around in business presentations. It’s still an office. He’s the boss. You’re the employee.
Jokes are cheap, anyway. What you’ve built is something far better. You’ve shown that your talent and dedication make the company stronger. Remember: plenty of people know how to suck up, but few are prepared to earn the respect.
Could a boss abuse your superb work ethic? Maybe. But a smart manager would rather groom you for bigger things than make you hate him.
And since the boss already sees your value, who cares if he can access your Facebook profile? Let him be your (social media) friend.
You have nothing to fear.
Do you think it’s important to have a positive relationship with your boss?
© 2013, Danny Rubin
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