Merge's Blog

Relationships built on friendship and trust stand the test of time!

As you may know from my recent blog posts, I visited India in early June for the first time in 30 years.  Speaking to a group of young leaders there was exciting enough, but there was another huge highlight of this trip.  I was also attending my Class 10 reunion at a residential boarding school I went to for six years when I was a teenager.  Our class turned out in full force – they came from all over the world – Canada, the United States, Thailand, Australia, and of course India.  It was a fabulous time, but what absolutely amazed me was how the thirty-year gap just melted away.  Keep in mind that I went to school long before the advent of the Internet, so almost all these girls (including me) had lost touch with each other over the years.  In fact, we had only just “found” each other on Facebook in the past year!  Yet, within minutes of meeting each other, it was like we had only parted yesterday.  Over the course of three days, we simply picked up where we left off thirty years ago, and we continued the deep relationships we had formed from six years of living and schooling together as youngsters.  What astonished me was that not even time (make that a VERY long time) could destroy solid relationships that were built on friendship and trust!

Can you imagine the depth of loyalty we could create in our companies if we focus on creating solid relationships that are built on friendship and trust – with our employees, our customers and our suppliers?  What are you doing to build solid relationships that can stand the test of time?


  • How can you be friends with the people who you supervise and the people who are your bosses?

    I am the sole manager of a medical clinic with 18 employees and 19 doctors.

    I have tried forming friendships with both doctors and employees, and it does not work.

    Also, you have to treat everyone the same and you simply can’t form friendships with everybody.

    Sooner or later you have to oppose them on something as part of due diligence of doing your job and it really really hurts emotionally and has caused me lasting, deep, and extreme personal stress.

    I am much healthier emotionally now that I am learning to distance myself emotionally from both the job and the people who work here.

    Maybe you can have sort of a “distant friendship” – but I do not see forming deep friendships with certain individuals here – I can’t see how that would work.

    Even if I maintained impartiality at the same time, the perception would be that I treat some with favouritism.

  • HI Merge,

    How true that is with relationships. Hope you are doing well, we should get you to Saskatoon next spring, I was thinking of something to promote our corporate training division and thought about you coming to speak to our clients and or run it just as a promotional event. Lets keep in touch moving into the winter.

    Really enjoy your email newsletters. I find them a great way to start a wet and rainy morning like today. Poor farmers in SK must be just about to give up after all the rain we have had this summer.


  • Darlene, I agree that finding the balance between professionalism and friendship in the workplace can be difficult. My point is not so much to become friends with the people you work with (even though it’s nice to have a “friendly” relationship), but more so a reflection on how trust once built, can withstand the test of time. Trust comes from respect, and respect doesn’t have to come from friendship (it may, but it doesn’t HAVE to).

    By the way, I wrote an article specifically on the topic of “Supervising Friends” in the March-April 2007 issue of CGA Magazine. Even though it doesn’t directly address the issue you’ve outlined here, it may still offer you some different perspectives on your particular problem, as it specifically refers to some of the challenges you’ve mentioned. You can access it at:

  • Hi Rich, as always, good to hear from you. I’ll have someone from my office touch base with you in a couple of weeks (we’re in the midst of a staff transition right now) and we can plan a Saskatoon visit in the spring.


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