You Just Got Promoted: How to Manage Former Team Mates

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    managing former teammatesSince being promoted to the new position of manager of operations, I have detected an aloofness from my team. I feel like an outsider. But how to manage former teammates?

    Congratulations on your promotion. I know that there will be a lot of challenges associated with your new job. One of them is the feelings of unfriendliness you have detected from your old teammates. Put yourself in your co-worker’s shoes.

    They are wondering: What kind of leader will you be? What changes are going to be made? What are your expectations? Are you going to be a tough or easy boss? Will you continue to go out with them or are you going to get uppity and forget about them? How are you going to deal with them when they make a mistake, come in late, or get chewed out by a customer?

    You and your teammates are dealing with a change, and there are a lot of elements that are unknown right now. These include things like how you should handle your new responsibilities, what effect these tasks will have on the team, and what expectations people should have about your leadership style.

    How to manage former teammates:

    • Begin with a team meeting to acknowledge the change in the working relationship.
    • Be upfront with the issue of uncertainty. Provide as much information as you can.
    • Reinforce your team’s value to the organization. Help them realize their importance.
    • Capitalize on the knowledge you have of your team’s strengths when planning new initiatives.
    • Offer your support to the team. Investigate how much support–and what type of support–is needed.
    • Don’t over-commit in your new role by making unrealistic promises either to your staff or your boss.
    • Allow time to adjust. Your actions will go far in winning your team’s trust and respect and lessening feelings of leaving them behind in the long run.

    Career Success Tip:

    You are now managing people who you have worked with. This puts them and you in a situation of uncertainty. You want to maintain their friendships but now you’re their boss. You have the responsibility of managing, and even evaluating their performance. Shoot for respect, not popularity. You can get both.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?

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