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My manager just told me I'm too friendly with the employees I supervise. I am a friendly manager, but I don't think I've crossed the line, and that's exactly what I told him. He insisted that I be more cautious about this, but I don't know what to do.

Your manager has given you some friendly advice, but it sounds like a value judgment, and that is not of much value. On the one hand, your manager is correct in implying that supervisory personnel need to be careful about becoming overly friendly with their staff. At the same time, if he is going to apply this generic statement to you, he should substantiate it with some facts.

Tell your manager that you have thought carefully about what he said, and you are going to try to keep his comments in mind. Then tell him that you would like more help and guidance on this matter. Ask him for some examples of situations where you were too friendly, as well as for some suggestions as to the way he thinks you should act in such encounters.

Employees prefer managers who are supportive, knowledgeable, accessible, and communicative, and this implies that employees prefer managers who are friendly. You should continue to maintain a friendly relationship with your staff, while trying to view yourself as a manager who is friendly, as opposed to a friend who is managing.

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