Professional Relationships are about boundaries, which never be encroached.

Cultivating a friendship with your boss or a senior colleague is advantageous. You develop a strong positive relationship which encourages mutual trust and loyalty. Here are a few suggestions that would help you to establish and enforce the boundaries of employer/employee relationship.

Clarify the relationship. To earn the respect of your work colleague or senior, while maintaining your friendship, you must be gentle but direct about the nature of your relationship. Politely but firmly make it very clear that you are uncomfortable with such familiarity. Effectively communicating your career goals and aspirations along with your ideas of work ethics will curtail the risk of your senior misinterpreting your friendship and behaving in an unprofessional manner.

Accept a compliment with a grace but do not react in any way to it ; neither you should dwell with senior’s intentions, amorous or otherwise. Not reacting or ignoring the nuances is a form of subtle rejection. Your senior will get the desired message.

Dress appropriately. Your office attire should project a professional attitude. Dressing in a provocative or seductive manner will send the wrong signals. Conduct yourself with decorum. There is an imaginary line that is sacrosanct and simply never crossed. Maintain comfortable distance and don’t delve into or divulge extremely personal information. Besides your body language must never send messages of ‘easy come easy go’.

Avoid ribald jokes. No matter how informal the setting, it is inappropriate to tell jokes or use language that is fit only for the men’s locker room.
Refrain from physical contact. Unnecessary touching, back slapping or physical contact of any sort other than handshake, regardless of how innocent it may be, is really not advisable.

Do not indulge in office gossip. By getting embroiled in all the murky happenings you will be a vulnerable target for the...