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This week's topic is another slightly controversial one, but has turned out to be a very common questions from listeners, so we thought we’d dedicate a whole episode to tackling how you as a leader, set the right boundaries on your work relationships. 

The key questions here is, how do you strike the balance between maintaining professional distance, while establishing a trust based, caring relationship with your people? In this episode I’ll answer this question by covering the following:

  • Outlining what type of relationships you should try and create (I’ll give you some examples to demonstrate these points)

  • A classic insight from author Jeffrey J Fox on who you should spend most of your time focusing on, and why this can sometimes be problematic 

  • The dynamic of a professional relationship when you’re leading a friend, and the potential outcomes of this - some good points in here about unconscious concessions 

  • What it looks like to be a friendly leader and some key points on how to create these friendly relationships without crossing the line

  • How to behave at work functions such as Christmas parties (which is very appropriate for this time of year!) when you’re a leader - I’ll give you some of my favourite rules of thumb that have worked for me for years

  • All of this doesn’t mean having an ‘in the office’ relationship only - sometimes connecting outside of the office environment is important for a relationship, so I’ll talk about when those times are

  • I’ll then delve into romantic relationships in the workplace - so the ramifications if they go sour (I use a few high profile examples here that are quite interesting), the potential imbalance in power dynamic and what to watch out for if you do decide to date a co worker/boss/subordinate etc.

The free resource for this week is ‘The Dos and Don't’s of Appropriate Leader Relationships’, which should really help you with drawing a line in the sand. You can download this resource below! 

This episode is one to mull over in the coming days. When you first listen to it you may think, ‘But I met my wife at work!’, or ‘I met some of my best friends at work!’, and that’s great, I’m not saying it doesn’t work 10/10 times. What I’m doing in this episode, is showing you the boundaries, the ramifications of different decisions, and what are in my opinion, the best types of relationships to create if you want to be able to lead your team effectively. 

As always, I’d love to know what you thought of this episode, so send me any of your feedback to

If you haven’t rated or reviewed the podcast yet, please do it now! It helps us reach even more leaders who are potentially struggling with appropriate leader relationships!