I started a new job recently and my boss is really nice, almost too nice. She loves to chit-chat and is always trying to get me to join her for a meal or drinks after we’re done work. She has followed me on Instagram and Facebook. She shares personal info about her life and her family, presumably hoping that I’ll do the same. She’s never crossed any lines, but I really just want to focus on my work and go home. What should I do?
In that you are a new employee you should be able to set boundaries with your boss before things get out of hand. Your boss probably doesn’t know the effect she is having on you by being so friendly, and there is a good chance she is lonely and sees a kindred spirit in you. It is your job to let her know where you stand and what you need from her. Be very specific about the role you want her to play in your life. “I am excited to prove my worth in this position. I look forward to collaborating with you, getting your advice on company histrionics and attending company functions as part of a team. For now I have a lot to learn and need to put my nose to the grindstone.”
Once you feel established, set up a luncheon or afterwork drinks get together with colleagues and invite your boss to join the gang. You can also share this policy with her – groups are ok, individual outings are not.
Three policies to follow when a superior is too friendly:
- Establish boundaries. This is a sensitive subject and you don’t want to offend her. Let your boss know your professional proprieties. Treat her like a boss.
- Limit chit chat. Do not engage in personal banter. Say, “I am sorry to hear that OR I am happy to hear that, (period).”
- Attend business functions; maybe the odd drink; but no concerts or performances.