How to Be Friends With a Boss

Two Parts:Connecting With Your BossKeeping It Professional

Establishing personal relationships with the people you work with can be an added benefit to hitting the time clock each day. But, what about your boss? This person doles out the workload and maintains order within your work environment. Can he or she also be your bud? Learn how to connect with your boss on a personal level and still maintain your professionalism.

Part 1
Connecting With Your Boss

  1. Image titled Be Friends With a Boss Step 1
    Ask for one-on-one training. There's no better way to grasp the attention of your boss, and forge a bond with him, than by requesting that he teach you a skill he's good at. People frequently express themselves through work, so seeing your boss in action can open your eyes to a side of him you've never seen.
    • Let's say it's company-wide knowledge that your boss is the best at brainstorming creative projects. Pull him aside one day and tell him how you really admire this skill, and would he mind giving you a few pointers so that you can improve your creative pitches. He'll likely be flattered by your humble approach, and such a connection point could be the start of a new friendship.
  2. Image titled Be Friends With a Boss Step 2
    Talk about a common interest.[1] Everyone has a hot button. When you press it, this person comes alive and he or she can talk at length until everyone around them turns blue. You must be prepared to talk about the things which are of your boss's interest whenever possible. Your status will be even more elevated if you have a similar interest or have in-depth knowledge about this particular hobby or passion.
    • Do you know your boss is a full-fledged basketball fanatic? Saying something like “What about those Celtics?” can easily ignite a lively conversation and a budding friendship.
  3. Image titled Be Friends With a Boss Step 3
    Strike up conversations during lunch/smoke/coffee breaks. If possible try to be with your boss during lunch/smoke breaks. Time your breaks so that it matches with your boss's. For initial few days you can try to make it look 'accidental'. Take advantage of this 'accidental' time together to generate your boss's interest in you.
    • Be careful with this one, you don’t want to come off as a slacker during work hours. Make sure you are not taking the same amount of breaks as your boss: you aren’t the head honcho; h/she is.
  4. Image titled Be Friends With a Boss Step 4
    Join a club or group which your boss is a member. If you can join a club or group which your boss is a member of you will get many opportunities to work together on things outside work and spend time together. This will help you both to understand each other better and bring you closer to your boss.
    • Examples of potential organizations might be Toastmasters International or a reputable organization within your industry.
    • The next time you step into your boss's office, check to see if there are any awards or other paraphernalia indicating which clubs and organizations she's associated with. Broach the subject that you have been looking to get involved and ask about the dynamics of the organization.
    • Only do this if you are genuinely interested in the specific club. Otherwise, you will probably not be dedicated and active in the group.
  5. Image titled Be Friends With a Boss Step 5
    Meet your boss outside work, if appropriate. Look for opportunities to meet your boss outside work. Create such opportunities by inviting your boss to your parties, social gatherings or charitable events. These meetings outside work will help you in developing a solid bond with your boss.
    • Another way to reinforce your friendship outside the office is to “friend” your boss on Facebook.[2] This strategy gives you an idea of your boss’s outside interests and gives you a host of conversational openers (i.e. “Your granddaughter is a beauty!”).

Part 2
Keeping It Professional

  1. Image titled Be Friends With a Boss Step 6
    Know your employer's policy on fraternization. Some companies have strict rules about managerial staff buddying up to underlings. Be aware of your company policy before you try to make friends with your boss.
    • Monitor the climate of your work environment. Does your boss engage in miscellaneous conversation with her subordinates? Do you ever see her show up to gatherings outside the office? Is she friends with other support staff on social networks? Knowing the answer to these questions in addition to your employer’s take on fraternization can help you to determine if being friends wth your boss is acceptable in your line of work.
    • While some companies build a wall up around management, others encourage connections between supervisors and their employees.[3] When people work with people they like, the culture, energy, and morale in the office is enhanced.
  2. Image titled Be Friends With a Boss Step 7
    Don't give in to a false sense of security. Being able to have a successful friendship with your boss depends on the two of you being able to carefully separate business from pleasure. No matter how strong your bond, he is still the boss. You will still be evaluated, criticized and potentially fired if you do not meet performance standards or break company policy.
    • If you are truly interested in making friends with your boss, do so because you get along with and find this person intriguing. Buddying up to a supervisor as a power play for your career is insincere and could hurt you more if your boss gets a whiff of your motives.[4]
  3. Image titled Be Friends With a Boss Step 8
    Evaluate whether your friendship is interfering with your job. Being best buds with an administrator will stimulate talk. If your friendship is well known among the staff, you can trust that every single move you make in the company will be scrutinized.[5] Did you get a promotion because you’re the boss’s BFF? Did you get the cushy corner office due to favoritism? Count on water cooler talk to frequently be focused on you if you make friends with the head honcho.
    • Getting closer to your boss may cause you to develop enemies with other subordinates. They may try to sabotage your position, or ex-communicate you from the inside loop.
    • If you have a leadership role of your own, or must bridge relationships with many other employees, being buddy-buddy with your boss might impede those working relationships. Consider whether this friendship is worth it to you and your career growth.
  4. Image titled Be Friends With a Boss Step 9
    Learn to say "no".[6] There is a clear and unequal distribution of power when you make friends with a higher up. Will your boss/bestie pass off extra work to you? Will she expect you to be on her side even when the whole office is against her?
    • Recognize when you are being taken advantage of and know that you can exert your rights. Reconsider the friendship if you are constantly having to put aside your values and priorities for your new friend.


  • Be a good friend so that your boss can trust you fully.
  • Be genuine and true.
  • Don't take undue advantage of the fact that your boss is your friend. Give him the respect he deserves at work and don't let your friendship come in the of your on-the-job performance.


  • Your colleagues may not like you being friends with your boss. Out of jealousy, they may purposely harm you in some way.
  • If your boss is not the kind of person who is OK with developing friendships with subordinates, then trying to make friends with her may backfire.

Article Info

Categories: Interacting with Bosses