Can you briefly summarize the editorial "Personal relationships in the workplace Yay or Nay?"

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Briefly, Richard Hader says that interpersonal relationships between a leader and team are "vital" to success and that learning about the personal side of team members' lives, showing interest in their progress and guiding and counseling them facilitates building the team's trust and confidence in the leader. Since leaders of this sort are more than colleagues, it is natural that deep private friendships will develop because the qualities and interactions of a good leader are the same qualities and interactions of a good friend. Hader stresses that the rewards of close personal interactions between the team and leader, like camaraderie and teamwork, help to gain success in both unit goals and organizational goals, therefore the leader must not shy away from becoming involved in friendships with the team because friendships help to motivate and inspire individuals' contributions to established goals.

Hader goes on to warn though that managing a personal friendship with "reports," or those who report to you as leader, is difficult to do. A discussion must lead to agreement on ground rules for work that exclude any expectation of or possibility for favoritism or special consideration. Instead, the leader must remain the boss and work roles, responsibilities and position job descriptions must always be honored while objectivity, honesty and fairness must always set the precedent and be the guide. He also warns that personal conversations must remain private, not shared with the team at work; behavior must remain professional and well-governed because "behavior that is too comfortable" can be "intimidating" to other team members resulting in loss of teamwork and effectiveness in meeting goals. Hader ends with the warning that there is considerable risk from a mismanaged personal friendship-work interaction, like the loss of the friend or your job, yet he says the key to succeeding is "collective respect for each other's opinions and role responsibilities."

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