From co-worker to boss: Tips to manage former peers
Tuesday, November 07, 2017
Congratulations! You finally got that long-overdue promotion (and raise). Now all that time spent complaining about being underpaid and that the boss is an idiot can be time spent trying to get the co-workers you complained to and with to do their work.
Here are a few useful tips to make what could be an awkward transition from co-worker to boss smooth and successful.
Where am I?
The first and most important step is to get your bearings. Yes, you may have applied to the posting, but you know that job postings do not always accurately convey the day-to-day expectations of the role.
Further, you were chosen over everyone else doing the same job as you for a reason. What was it that differentiated you from your peers?
To get a clear understanding of the role, challenges and opportunities specific to you, set up a meeting with the person responsible for the promotion immediately. Ask her directly what the leadership believes you can bring to the role.
As workplace coach Nicole K. Webb noted in this article for Black Enterprise: Though you likely have clear goals and expectations of your own, it is important to understand that while you need to shift perspective from team member to leader, your boss is already looking at you as a leader. You must understand her new perspective as well.
After getting clear on the expectations from above, it is time to talk to the team. Set meetings as a group and individually. If possible, announce the promotion and control the message.
Be direct and transparent, especially if you have a previous friendship with someone who will now report to you. Address your friend's concerns as well as your team's thoughts on the relationship clearly by acknowledging what it was and how it will change.
And, as Cy Wakeman, leadership specialist and New York Times best-selling author, noted in this article for The Muse, take the time to understand their goals and expectations as well as their concerns. Doing so will help you create a fuller picture of the new office landscape.
Take a minute
Once the meetings are done and you are clear on what everyone around you expects, take a break and figure out what you want.
How do their goals and perspectives affect your perception of your new role? What can you realistically accomplish by when? What will be your biggest challenges, and how will you address them? Where are the opportunities for further professional growth?
Define what success means to you and use that destination to plan what needs to be addressed and by when. Then, be public about it.
Share your plan with your boss and your team. Show them how you heard what they shared and specifically how and when it is incorporated in the plan. Confirm their role in the team's success and continue to check in with them as you move forward.
The bottom line is, getting a promotion can be an amazing career opportunity. Recognize the challenges with honesty, and take the time to see the change from different perspectives. Doing so will ensure you, your boss and your new team are positioned to work together to succeed.
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