As an employer or member of management, it's unlikely that you sit around plotting on how to develop an attraction to one of your employees. If an attraction does develop, however, it's often because you were blindsided and didn't see it coming. When you find yourself attracted to your employee, look at the situation as a temptation. It's only natural to be tempted sometimes. However, problems arise when you choose to act on that temptation. The good news is that temptation can only consume you if you let it. You are empowered to fight back.
Don't Lie To Yourself
You can fool others into thinking you are not attracted to your employee, but you can't fool yourself. Trying to pretend the attraction isn't there may cause you to want him even more. That's like throwing fuel on a flame. Instead of ignoring the attraction, “own it.” Have a little interpersonal communication with yourself and come to terms with your emotions. Admit to yourself that there is an attraction. Take control of your feelings by implementing a strategy to prevent you from acting on them.
When you are attracted to your employee, spending time around him may cause the attraction to intensify. As such, limit the amount of time you spend with him. If it's not necessary to meet with him for business purposes, don't meet with him at all. If you are required to meet with him for business purposes, keep the meeting short and professional. Avoid any small talk during the meeting. If it has nothing to do with business, don't discuss it. As much as possible, avoid meeting with your employee behind closed doors. Try to hold meetings in an open space accessible by others. If you must meet in an office setting, leave the door open or cracked, or invite another employee in on the meeting. Don't buy him any gifts nor accept gifts from him.
Create an accountability system that ensures you remain accountable for your actions. For instance, if you have a trusted best friend or family member, confess your feelings to her. Ask her to support you through the ordeal and hold you accountable for your actions. It's important to be honest with your accountability partner. If it ever gets to a point where you feel like you can no longer hold out on your feelings, talk it over with your accountability partner. She is there to help keep your emotions in check and continuously encourage you not to act on them.
Consider the Consequences
If you begin to seriously contemplate acting on your emotions, consider the consequences. Most companies have a corporate policy in place that prevents workplace fraternization. Violation of this policy can result in a loss of employment. If you act on the attraction and things don't work out with you and the employee, he may scream sexual harassment. A sexual harassment lawsuit is not a good look for you or your company. Acting on an attraction can also destroy a marriage and family. You may intend to keep the relationship a secret, however the truth is you have no control over who may decide to snitch and tell your spouse or his about the affair.
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