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Can Friendship Survive in Business?

  • Posted by: Ron Parikh
  • 11th Apr 2016

Unless you’ve lived under a rock your entire life, you’ve likely been told not to mix business with pleasure. This saying comes from countless stories about friends and family members who get along great until they end up working together. Once the business relationship starts, the friendship or familial relationship can begin to break down because you’re caught in between two very different worlds.

On the one hand, you want to act like everything is the same while you’re at work, but you can’t because there are a set of responsibilities placed on each person that don’t exist in the personal relationship side of things. When you want to talk to your friend, but he is busy with something work-related, you may end up bothering him. This can lead to an argument and a breakdown in the friendship over time.

I Work With My Best Friends

So, can a friendship actually survive in business? I’m here to tell you that a friendship absolutely can survive in business! In fact, I’m living proof as I work with six of my best friends. We have a shared energy and vision regarding Chalak Mitra Group of Companies, our families are all friends with one another and we all love hanging out and talking. In fact, we often take trips together, both work-related and non-work-related. We also go to lunch together every single day with whichever partners are in the office at the time.

How We’ve made Things Work

Now, don’t think that we all just come in and have a giant party every day. In fact, our work environment is far from that. I mean, we do have fun, don’t get me wrong, but just because the seven of us are friends doesn’t mean that we yak it up all day, because if we were, nothing would ever get done. We’ve found that actually trying to avoid each other throughout most of the day is one of the keys to our successful blend of friendship and business success.

If we were around each other all day, no one would ever shut up because we love being around one another. So, the balance that we’ve found is to put the business first by putting our friendships first. By that, I mean that we recognize the strength of our friendships, and in doing so, we consciously put the business first because our business is built on our history as a team.

Don’t Play Favorites

Because the team at Chalak Mitra Group of Companies shares the same heart and vision for the company, its employees and its investors, we don’t run into situations in which one partner is favored over another; however, I feel like it’s worth noting, since I’m talking about working with people who are close to you, that it’s important in these situations to avoid playing favorites. This is even more important when you’re in a position of authority. In fact, you don’t even want to give the appearance of playing favorites, and this is another reason why personal relationships can deteriorate in the workplace.

If someone believes that you are giving special assignments or promotions to an employee because he or she is your friend, there is going to be an all-around breakdown in respect and authority in your future. Likewise, the employee who is suspected of receiving preferential treatment may get some backlash from his or her coworkers, creating a hostile work environment. Finally, you may even run afoul of the law in some instances of perceived preferential treatment.

The bottom line? Use your friendships with workers to build the company, not your friendship. A true friend will recognize that, by putting your friendship first and agreeing that the company needs to be the focus, the business actually comes first. With this attitude, everyone wins.

Ron Parikh