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Careers helpline

KEY questions answered by the experts.

Q: MY fleet department is expanding and for the first time I will have two people reporting to me. Can I be an effective boss and a friend to these people?

A: THE definition of friend is someone you trust and respect, and a manager is someone who is in charge and controls resources. Merging the two roles can result in an effective and loyal team, but this is a professional relationship and all parties should know what the boundaries are.

Effective management requires good communication and people skills. You should be able to develop and motivate your staff by identifying their strengths and weaknesses – arranging training when required, and utilising their skills to the benefit of the team.

Your team needs to know what you expect of them, and be confident that they will be treated fairly. You may be expected to conduct appraisals and reviews, and possibly disciplinaries, so it is important that you are able to maintain confidentiality.

Think about the managers you have worked for and the different styles they have used – which managers got the best from their staff?

Lifelong learning advisor, Learndirect advice line

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