You’ve just been promoted and you couldn’t be more excited. This is something you’ve wanted for a while and worked hard for so it feels great to finally climb up the ladder.
However, being the boss means you’re now in charge of your former colleagues. This is undeniably awkward if you’re not quite sure how to handle the situation. Here is some advice to help you make a smooth transition.
4 Tips to Successfully Manage Former Co-Workers
Acknowledge the Shift
Clearly there’s an elephant in the room. Gather your new team — i.e. your former peers — and address it. Having the opportunity to discuss the change is the first step toward normalizing it so everyone can start to feel more comfortable with this new arrangement. Let them know your new promotion is a win for everyone because you’re committed to helping them succeed.
Ask What Your Team Needs
Now that you’re in a management role, you want to do everything in your power to support your employees. At your first team meeting find out what type of changes they’d like to see with you in charge. Don’t make any promises — as you don’t want to set unrealistic expectations — but let them know you’ll work hard to make a difference.
Now that you’re the boss, things have to change between you and your work friends. Chances are you’re the one they’ll be gossiping about around the water cooler so start creating healthy space for them to vent. It’s also wise to put a halt to any lunch dates and happy hours with direct reports as you don’t want to risk being seen as playing favorites with certain people.
Find New Work Friends
It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. You can still have friends at work. Seek out new colleagues — that you don’t manage — and get to know them. Building relationships with people on other teams will help you become a more effective leader and you’ll have fun getting to know colleagues you previously only knew in passing.
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