I often hear the following:

"It is perfectly understandable that friendships on the job interfere with performance."

The idea is that if some of your direct reports become your best friends, you might sometimes need to tolerate poor performance in order to maintain healthy relationships.

The two most common reasons behind this argument are the following:

First, because it is perfectly human that friendships develop on the job.

Second, because healthy relationships will help performance in the long term.

Yes, I agree that friendships develop on the job - that is a fact of life.

However, assuming that tolerating poor performance translates into healthy relationships can potentially become a very expensive mistake.

Poor performance is counterproductive to your organization, to everybody inside your organization, and to yourself.

You get paid to deliver results - and in order to deliver such results - you also get paid to manage the performance of those employees who report directly to you.

You do not get paid to maintain friendships on the job. It is about performance - keep in mind that performance is the sum of two different things: Behavior plus Results.

Both - behavior and results - are observable, measurable and objective (this is exactly why it is perfectly feasible to manage performance).

If you allow friendships to take precedence over performance, you will fall in the realm of subjectivity, you will not be able to manage performance, and you will not consistently deliver results with the expected quality, on time, and within budget.

I am not saying that you should not have friendships on the job - but if you do (for your own good, for the good for your organization, and for the good of your friends), make sure you always give priority to performance, no matter what.

It is that simple.

Questions? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to here from you - just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you would like future e-zines to be about - I'm listening.

Feel free to re-send this E-zine to your boss, to your employees, to your colleagues, etc.

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Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
December 7, 2010. Copyright: All rights reserved
Skills2Lead Ezine is published on the first Tuesday of every month

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