When co-workers who are close friends are going after the same job
Q. A co-worker and I who are close friends are going for the same job promotion. Only one of us will get it and I’m worried about how it will affect our relationship. Any advice?A. This is a tough one to answer, and I’m willing to bet even tougher for you to navigate through. And if one of you ends up working for the other, it could get even more complicated.At the same time, it’s really not all that unusual. It’s just part of the world of work and one of the joys of managing personal relationships with workmates.The best advice I can give you is more relationship advice than work advice. It’s pretty simple and basic, and works for all kinds of relationships and in all kinds of situations. Be honest, communicate directly, and be willing to talk with each other now, during the process, and after, too.And also understand that things might shift a little, or quite a bit, after the promotion decision is made. But what part of life doesn’t include change? And remember, change doesn’t have to be a negative thing, and sometimes different even turns out to be better. So keep talking, nurture the friendship, and remind each other that this is a promotion, not a catastrophe. I’m pretty sure things will work out just fine. Good luck to you both.Q. In the process of interviewing candidates for a position, I checked their Facebook pages. One candidate had what I considered to be very inappropriate photos posted to his page. Should I address this during his interview, simply tell him we are no longer interviewing him because of it, or never bring it up and just hire another candidate?A. The dramatic increase in social media has caught most of us, and most businesses, off guard. I wouldn’t rush to judgment with this possible new hire. At the same time, I do think it’s appropriate and even essential to discuss this during the interview. Be direct, straightforward and simply share your concerns. Then listen.In the conversation that follows, you will learn if the candidate “gets it,” and therefore is able to take advantage of teachable moments, and that would be a good sign. If it doesn’t seem to register, then this is not such a good sign, and you’ll know pretty quickly what this person’s potential really is with your company.More importantly, use this situation as a teachable moment for your entire company, and begin the development of social media policies. Once in place, create staff training opportunities that will explain the new policies and also teach staff about the ups and downs of social media.It’s a brave new world, and we have to be sure our policies and procedures reflect current reality in an ever-changing environment. And if you tackle this project, you’ll be ahead of many companies, charting new territory, and if you move quickly, even leading the pack.Q. My boss brings her dog to work, and it is very distracting. Not only does the dog bark, but it is also allowed to roam free around the office, making for a not-very-productive workplace. How should I address this situation? A. If your boss owns the company, or having pets at work is part of the culture at your workplace, you may be out of luck. Your best bet is to focus on things within your control, and not on changing the behavior of others.A few questions you might ask include: Are you the only one who feels this way? Is there a way to have a conversation with your boss that will seem dog-friendly, but also work- focused? And can you think of any easy solutions you could suggest that would make things better for you without upsetting the rest of the office? Your answers may very well support some easy and logical steps, each worth a try.And finally, be sure you’re not making a mountain out of a molehill, and whatever you do, don’t keep a lunch bag with pork chops in your desk drawer!Paul Boynton, president and CEO of The Moore Center, Manchester, is also a personal coach, corporate consultant, motivational speaker, host of the television show, “Begin with Yes” and author of the book by the same name. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.