Can a Manager and Employees Develop Too Much of a Rapport?

A large part of successful business coaching is the development of a rapport by managers with employees to facilitate constructive dialogue, as mentioned in other articles such as the importance of having an open door policy and being seen regularly by employees by stepping out of their office and walking around the workplace.

This rapport building means that in many cases friendships will begin to develop between managers and employees, and sometimes even more than friendship if they were to become romantically involved. But is this closeness and friendliness a good thing or a bad thing when it comes to business coaching?

It is an extremely difficult question to answer, and probably one which has no definitive right or wrong answer. Whilst the openness that comes with the friendship will normally allow the employee to feel more relaxed and able to discuss their feelings and concerns with the manager, it may also place them in a difficult position if the problems they have in fulfilling their potential at work are with the manager themselves, as they may not feel that they are able to say what they really feel as it may ruin the friendship. Similarly the manager may be placed in an awkward position if they feel that they cannot act objectively and impartially. They may be torn between either having to risk ruining the relationship with their friend, or being seen to be giving them special treatment in the eyes of other workers which can cause serious disruption and de-motivation amongst them.