Post # 1
I was just given a project at work in which I’m managing a friend who is normally my peer in the office (in the past, I’ve handled the project myself, but it has grown). She has been having trouble with other people getting promotions because she feels undervalued by superiors.
Today, we were talking about other stuff (dogs, wedding) and I said “hey, let’s talk a little about our project. I’d like to do x and y. Would you like to do z?” She flipped and wound up leaving my office in a huff, saying she wanted to do x, not z. She later email our superior saying there was nothing for her to do on the project.
I feel as though I’m always the one to compromise with this friend, both personally and professionally. I don’t know whether to be super nice or super firm with her at this point. Any advice?
Post # 3
I have managed friends in the past. I would say to be professional/firm and fair with her as if you are managing anyone else. If she is professional, she’ll understand. It is hard to manage friends because the friendship could change after.
Post # 4
If the superior passed the message or had a conversation with you – I would clarify with them how you suggested you break up the project. Obviously if they’ve placed you in the managerial role for this project – you’re the lead – and she shouldn’t be able to pick and choose.
Stay firmwith her, but also be sure to keep chatting about the ‘other’ stuff just as you always do so she gets the hint that you’re still friends, but work is work.
Good luck! I know how tough it can get!
Post # 5
Holy moly, Bees. Just found out that she lied to me.
After our initial conversation, she emailed me and a superior saying that she talked to two people in another department and that they already do the task I asked her to do. The superior emailed that other department to see if we can take some things off their plate and found out that that my friend totally lied.
I’m shocked and really sad.
Post # 6
Oh that’s such a bummer. I assume she’s resentful of your role supervising her, but that’s part of life! Why would she try and torpedo her own credibility like that?
Post # 7
I hate to say it, but that will probably get her fired.
Post # 8
I’ve been managed by friends before, so I’m on the other side of the spectrum. Actually, that’s what finally prompted me to quit my last job, because one of my friends kept getting promoted (I got him the job initially) until finally he was my manager. It was too weird, and combined wiht all the other negative things about that company I finally just left.
Anyway, I think your friend is being totally wacko. Not only is she hurting her credibility at work, but she is hurting your friendship. I definitely didn’t like being managed by a friend, but I almost went out of my way to complete tasks for him BECAUSE he was my friend and I didn’t want to hurt our friendship. If I had thought he was out of line, I still would have spoken to his supervisor about it, but he wasn’t.
Oh and any time I’ve been asked to lead a project at work that other coworkers will also be working on, I’ve faced this kind of response unfortunately. They usually ignore me until I remind them several times in person about their tasks that need to be completed, then finally come up with some excuse why they can’t do it or do a 1/2 assed job. Because.. I’m not their actual manager and they resent the fact that I”m the same level as them but am telling them what to do. So they fight it at every turn.
Honestly though, managers notice these things – so it just makes them look bad in the end. But you should at least cover yourself, if your friend is skirting her responsibilities and lying to get out of it, you have to regretfully tell your supervisor about it. It’s not your job to manage her, but you have to let that person know how she’s behaving at work.
Post # 9
She won’t get fired. No one has ever been fired here…which might be why some people coast and feel comfortable being difficult!
The superior who is now involved is so kind and so tactful, while being direct. Apparently, she had already had a few talks with my friend about work ethic, so I guess another one is coming.
My friend is the person I’m going to asked to be my Maid/Matron of Honor. We’re so close…but our work styles are so different.
Post # 10
It might be really hard not to let emotion get in the way but at the end of the day you have to remember that this is your workplace, it is a business, and you have to be professional.
Its hard when you work with someone that you consider a friend but it will look bad if you let the friendship interfere with the project. As long as you are firm but fair, and treat the same as you would with any other person, she can’t really complain. You are the manager and it is your job to manage the staff.
If she has issues with you being her manager, I suggest having a chat with her and outlining your expectations of her. Regardless of the fact you two are friends (which is now in question considering she lied to you) she is at work to DO HER JOB. And you need to do yours.