Facebook and Your Boss: To Friend or Not to Friend

by Joe Lavelle on March 5, 2012

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You may have a great working relationship with your boss.  You enjoy a few minutes of casual conversation with her every morning when you both reach the office.  She appreciates your ideas and opinions and comes to you regularly to discuss the direction of the company.  Maybe you even share a lunch at the local diner every now and again.  But, does that mean you should know that her neighbor’s kids were driving her crazy with their firecrackers at 1:00am on Saturday night or that she just checked in at the new jazz club downtown?

In other words, should you be “friends” with your boss on Facebook?

A recent article by life and career coach Dorothy Tannahill-Moran gives her readers some thoughts to consider before accepting a boss’ request to share access of Facebook pages and perhaps a part of yourself that you appreciate getting to keep separate from your professional life.

She reminds us to consider the worst-case scenario.  If you have a horrible day at work and simply want to vent to your masses of virtual friends, you may have to censor yourself when you consider that your boss may be watching.  A lack of positive attitude during your down time will reflect on how you are considered at work, even if you offer nothing but smiles and optimism when you are sitting at your desk.

Also, managers need to maintain some detachment from those they supervise.  This allows them to offer helpful criticism when needed without feeling like they are upsetting the feelings of a personal friend.  Even if you get along great, don’t create a situation that makes maximum productivity difficult.

Tannahill-Moran gives several other helpful pieces of advice, including the suggestion that bosses and employees instead agree to connect through Linked In, a social networking site that is more strictly professional.  Check out all that she has to write!

Are you friends with your boss on Facebook?  If so, what effect (positive or negative) do you think this has on your work efforts and environment?

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