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Thread: Sexual tension in the workplace

  1. #1
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    Sexual tension in the workplace

    There are many articles out there mentioning that successful managers are flirtatious by nature. I've read many of them and have analyzed my own "style" as well.

    I've been in a management position for over ten years now. Things were rocky at first but then as I became more experienced I improved my people skills and found the key to motivating my staff: they want to feel "special". I work in a very demanding field where people are often asked to work overtime (without pay). Being able to keep these folks happy and motivated is a real challenge.

    Here's the twist. Most of the people who report to me are women. Developing special bonds with each of them creates "friendly" relationships and as in any male-female friendship, sexual tension kicks in at some point. Being able to harness this tension keeps these employees happy and incredibly motivated. They are seducing their manager by doing hard work. Every now and then things get a bit too intense and I gently cool it off by distancing myself for a while.

    Personally, I'm not particularly attracted to any of them but I truly enjoy the rapport I've built with my staff. I openly talk about sex with a few of them and there were times where I've had boners that were hard to control - but somehow I managed to keep it in my pants...

    I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions on such dynamics in the workplace.

    Thanks!

    RS Getting Ready for a First Date
    Last edited by rs.dallaire; 02-21-2008 at 10:05 AM.

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    Well, except for the openly talking about sex (can leave you open to so many horrible claims and accusations if things sour) with my employess I totally agree with you.

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    Platinum Member tylercdurden2004's Avatar
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    Good stuff. Flirting does have a lot to do with rapport. and vice versa. Its a line though that cant be crossed. Thats when the respect goes down the proverbial t#r.

    Been reading up on a lot of book on rapport. Its key to leading people.

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    Platinum Member rose2summer's Avatar
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    I know you are in Paris and not the US, so I am not sure if you're system is like the US.

    But talking about sex with the workers can lead to lawsuits, they can misconstrue it if you decide to fire them or something happens.

    I am female, and I have always been really careful to never discuss anything of the like with coworkers because who knows what can happen.

    Protect yourself is my philosophy.

    Hugs, Rose

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    Sex talk

    Your concerns are all justified.

    I make sure I don't create closer bonds with those who seem "weak" and "clingy". Those are the people who can cause problems in the work place.

    As for the sex talk, I'm careful not to do it in a sleezy way. It's definitely a fine line to walk but so far I've been able to use it to everyone's benefit. We all enjoy each other's attention and it makes the day so much better. While it is clear in everyone's mind that nothing is going to happen, my employees appreciate that their boss thinks they are sexually attractive, and vice versa.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member BeStrongBeHappy's Avatar
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    don't forget that the manager is in a 'power' position, and frequently employees are afraid to give their true opinions to the boss because they are afraid of the consequences. so you might *think* they like the sex talk, but they may just be playing along because you are their boss and they want to curry favor with you, or don't want to challenge you.

    i can't tell you how many times i've had conversations with fellow employees (women) who think their boss is a sleaze and a perv because he tries to flirt with them and talk about sex, and behind his back they either laugh at him or talk about how they are disgusted with him, but want to keep their jobs and get good raises, so they play along.

    then one day a woman might come in who you think is not 'weak', and in fact is strong enough to report you or sue the company. she may be just playing along to get evidence to use against you to win a lawsuit.

    so this isn't a situation where you are all equals and flirting is just sport. you are misusing your authority and forgetting that employees must tolerate your presense and conversation because they report to you and their livelihood depends on their job.

    you can have very fun, happy relationships with your co-workers, but sex should stay out of the workplace, especially in supervisor/employee situations where it could be considered an abuse of power and authority.

    it may give you a little thrill, but it isn't right for a lot of reasons.

  8. #7
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    Originally Posted by rs.dallaire

    As for the sex talk, I'm careful not to do it in a sleezy way. It's definitely a fine line to walk but so far I've been able to use it to everyone's benefit. We all enjoy each other's attention and it makes the day so much better. While it is clear in everyone's mind that nothing is going to happen, my employees appreciate that their boss thinks they are sexually attractive, and vice versa.
    I have to agree with BeStong...you are their boss, so they might not be enjoying this as much as you think. Sorry, this just sounds kind of gross to me, not to mention a lawsuit waiting to happen.

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    I appreciate your concerns.

    The people who I refer to have been with me for years. They share a lot about their lives including sexual stuff. One of them confided in me about having a lover on the side, etc. I have gone through several political crisis with these folks and each time they have fully supported me.

    I also want to add that I am not managing unskilled workers. I manage highly trained professionals who could find another job any day. The challenge is for me to keep them - not for them to keep their job.

    I shouldn't be surprised but I find people on ENA often jump to conclusions assuming the worst case scenario. Some people are programmed to do the right thing all the time. I don't think there's anything wrong with that but that's not who I am.
    Last edited by rs.dallaire; 02-21-2008 at 12:11 PM.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member rosephase's Avatar
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    Itís not about the flirting. When you flirt with someone you really listen and are giving care to what they say. And that is wonderful. It sounds like what youíre doing is working well. My personal hint? Donít use the word boner. Try erection.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by rosephase
    Itís not about the flirting. When you flirt with someone you really listen and are giving care to what they say. And that is wonderful. It sounds like what youíre doing is working well. My personal hint? Donít use the word boner. Try erection.
    Thanks. I agree that listening is the key.

    I'll try to use the word "erection" more often from hereon...

    A lot of people are unable to create a rapport with their coworkers (and especially their manager). They remain professional at all times and then wonder why they never get promoted.

    I use the "sharing" approach. I give out a bit of information and see if they are willing to return the favour. We go step by step. If an employee is comfortable enough to give me the power to destroy her family (by telling me about her affair), I gather she trusts me and is not about to call her lawyer...

    In fact, I could be the one black mailing her, which would be an interesting exercise...

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