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If You Have an Intimate Relationship . . .

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with a client . . .


  • Be open to evaluating its effect on your work performance
  • Be sensitive to its impact on your relationships with others at work
  • Be willing to talk about it with a trusted professional or friend
  • Refer your client to another advisor, preferably not in your firm


  • Assume that your ability to think clearly is intact
  • Insist that this is your own private business with no effect on anyone else
  • Sneak around and try to keep it a secret (you won’t succeed)
  • Make yourself a beneficiary in their will (don’t even think about it!)

with a colleague . . .


  • Be super-vigilant about treating all your co-workers equally and fairly
  • Try to minimize contact at work
  • Be open to feedback from trusted colleagues about your work performance and the effect on co-workers
  • Be prepared to seriously contemplate one of you leaving the organization


  • Accept or give special favors because of your relationshi
  • Make excuses to get together
  • Assume that your relationship is not affecting the climate at work
  • Assume that you can keep your client’s best interests in the forefront


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