Staying on the “Be Professional” topic for consultants: Should you ‘friend’ a client on Facebook or other social media?
Controversially, I am of the opinion that the only appropriate platform to connect with business contacts is on LinkedIn, and maybe Twitter.
Separating the line between personal and professional lives just seem to make sense to me.
“Ah, am sorry you feel lonely because your wife is away at her mum’s with your kids. Since you haven’t got anything to do, can you knock up a quick POC to see if this component will connect with the payment gateway?”
That’s just one of the many reasons why we shouldn’t do it.
“Sooo it looks like you love prosecco. And you’ve just been dumped by your no-good boyfriend. I know this place we can go after our project meeting this Friday…”
Inappropriate on so many levels, I don’t even know where to begin.
“You work too hard. I see you didn’t go out with your mates last weekend because fixing deployment issues. Have you thought about becoming your own boss? I’ve just joined Amway and I think we should go have coffee and talk about how you could be financially independent… “
So, just don’t.
I had a senior developer who made the mistake of friending a client over FB. He was besieged by messages about the project and the poor guy had to uninstall it just to avoid client outside work hours!
There are many lines you shouldn’t cross in a client relationship.
Sometimes they are clear, and sometimes they are blurry.
Having drinks after work in a group setting is ok.
Things can be misconstrued if you’re drinking alone with client. Especially if single and unattached. In some situations, even if one or both are married.
One on one coffee is acceptable.
Multiple coffee catch ups or lunches… Hmm. Heading into blurry territory.
Being a ‘foreigner’ gives me an advantage because I can pretend that I am unable to understand the subtle cues that could lead to inappropriate sexual advances. 😁
I either just focus on work discussions, or talk about when my kid projectile vomited onto me, and that totally kills any hint of inappropriateness.
That’s how I stay on this side of the line.
Crossing it brings too much drama and stress I don’t need.
I’d rather do a vomit laden laundry.