One sure sign of a seasoned manager is that she can spot a manipulative subordinate long before that person can put the boss right where the employee wants her.
Beware of a sudden friendship or overtures that are out of character, such as when an employee starts bringing you your morning coffee. There’s an ulterior motive here, and chances are you are being groomed for a request.
Don’t fall for the trap. It will be much harder to turn down a pay request from the person who delivered a caramel latte to your desk every day for a month.
That doesn’t mean you should immediately swat the first cup out of their hand. Use the rule of three. After the second presentation, kindly say, “Look, I appreciate you giving me these coffees, but I cannot accept anymore. But thank you.”
As a manager, you need to keep a boss-worker relationship that isn’t hamstrung with IOUs.