Professionalism and being friendly! Does size matter?

I was talking to a friend of mine in Scotland. She had just returned from a class on professionalism.

She works for a very small business, less than 10 people.

She pondered a great question by one of her colleagues:

“You should be friendly to the people you work with but NOT be friends. The relationship should be professional and nothing else EVER.”

It is a great question. We have all been subjected to those moments when we have felt excluded when co-workers develop friendships that make us uncomfortable.

However is there an argument for that being a crazy expectation when we work for very small organizations when creating a “family environment” really fosters friendships?

Let’s have your thoughts on this one!


About HRMexplorer

Managing Director - Human Capital Europe and USA - My ability is to recognize ingrained assumptions and patterns of operation that aren’t productive, and offer practical, cost-effective and value-based solutions.

Posted on April 29, 2012, in HRMexplorer Blogs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hi Peter, I have found that there is a balance with the relationships that are cultivated amongst thoses who work in smaller businesses. In our practice there is six of us and we have three different generations. We do some activities together throughout the year as a work family, but a couple of the younger team members do get together more often and we have not had any issues with this. I think it is because we run a very professional practice and everyone rises to the standard that is expected during office hours, and this does carry after office hours. We are all friends inside and out, but we do have boundaries that we will not cross.

    Thank you for the great blog post

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