Let’s face it, being a leader is difficult. Navigating social situations can be confusing and the line between professional boss and understanding friend can be difficult to find. However, the best boss or manager knows how to lead a team and make important business decisions, while also being someone your staff can come to when they need guidance.

1. Make the hard decisions

While it’s important to forge friendships with your co-workers, your priority has to be your business. Sometimes, you might be forced to make decisions that will make you choose between your friendships and the success of the business and you need to remember why you were hired as a manager in the first place.

2. Keep your work and personal life separate

Work excursions and parties are an essential part of business life; they can make your team form stronger bonds, allowing you to learn more about the skills and characteristics of each person in the company. However, when you’re out having fun, try and keep work discussions to a minimum. This will create a clear boundary between your work and personal life, making it harder for the two to blur together.

3. Remain empathetic

There’s a common misconception that good leaders need to be cold and critical, but this isn’t always the case. The best boss will be sympathetic to their workers’ needs and show emotion at the most appropriate moments. You want to seem like an approachable boss who your co-workers can come to any time they are struggling at work or are distracted by things that are happening at home.

4. Stay sensible at your work party

So the Christmas party is coming up, but this doesn’t mean you can let loose and take advantage of the open bar. You need to remember that your co-workers will have to see you on Monday morning and they might lose respect for your authority after seeing your drunken dance moves.

5. Be careful about social media

If you post frequently to social media, be careful what you put up as your co-workers might be able to see it; you have to appear as professional online as you do in the office. If you’re worried about blurring the line between friend and boss on social media, consider creating two accounts; one for your personal life and one for your work colleagues to follow.

If you’re looking for leadership guidance, then contact a member of the team who can help you to achieve your potential.