Friday, September 25, 2009

When friendships end...and the boss/employee relationships start

These difficult economic times have made for some strange bedfellows. A good friend of mine owns a yoga studio in our neighborhood. She and the gym owner are looking for ways to collaborate on classes so that they both keep their clients' happy. In good economic times, these two were bitter rivals.

What happens to friendships when two people begin working together? For the most part - if you are a conscientious person - this relationship can work well. But for those of you contemplating hiring a friend who's out of work...well, make sure your relationship can withstand any disagreements. They are bound to happen.

If you plan to work with or for someone you lunch with, I think there are a few ground rules to work out beforehand.

1. Talk over all aspects of the arrangement. This includes asking how many hours and what exactly do you expect me to accomplish?
2. Realize that one of you is the boss in the relationship -- and make sure both parties agree. I know, seems like a no-brainer, but it's important to have firm ground rules.
3. Be realistic about your friend's strengths...and her weaknesses. People aren't perfect. You'll annoy each other from time to time. So go in knowing what will bother you about the other person. Realistic expectations will make the entire process easier.

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