It's Time to Befriend Your Boss, According to Scientific Research
Trent Bailey for Business Insider
We've all been warned about the dangers of mixing work and play, especially when it comes to your relationship with your boss. It's generally best to keep things cordial without letting your higher-up in on too much unnecessary information. While most of the details of your personal life should stay, well, personal, a recent article from Inc. suggests that you should reconsider keeping your boss at an arm's length.
According to the article, a recent study shows that the hormone and neurotransmitter known as oxytocin, which is naturally released during intimacy, can also have an impact on social, emotional, and behavioural patterns of your everyday life. Most important to this study is oxytocin's tie to creating a feeling of trust—likely a trait your employer is looking for in you. By befriending your boss and engaging in the natural behaviours associated with a caring friendship—showing compassion, sharing a laugh, writing a thoughtful note—you're more likely to promote the release of oxytocin, which leads to mutual trust.
As you can imagine, this can benefit you in the workplace, as you and your boss will embark on a better working relationship. While this is not an excuse to overstep your boundaries, the study's findings mean treating your boss as a friend instead of an everyday acquaintance could be the answer to improving the quality of the workplace and, most importantly, boosting your career.
How do you feel about becoming better friends with your boss? We recommend investing in a new desk calendar and scheduling some post-work drinks ASAP.