I'm a long time listener to the podcast and have a question I thought may hopefully provide me with other perspectives.
I've been a team lead for some years in a technical role, so I have had a medium level of management responsibility. I have recently taken on a new position as a fulltime manager in a technical department.
My question revolves around people's views on familiarity with your direct reports. I currently have 6 direct reports and the same number of contractors. I'm a firm believer that a good relationship with your reports repays itself in an open honest and more productive relationship. My problem is whether it can be taken too far. I have put in some effort to get to know my team, I lunch every day with my team and play sports occasionally with them too.
My fear is that when it comes to the crunch and I need to take a more serious management stance, that my over familiarity with my reports has removed some of my authority or respect?
I know people have many different styles of leadership, I personally prefer use the carrot over the stick but some prefer the reverse.
I'm interested in other people's views/experiences.