Suddenly you are the boss! But now you have to lead the ones that saw you as one of them, so how do you manage your former peers?
While you may have been friendly and comfortable with one another before, the dynamic has now changed. Use these seven tips to help you transitioning from peer to manager:
7 Tips To Help You Transitioning From Peer To Manager
1. Stay Professional
While you might be friends with your co-workers outside of the office, you still need to focus in the workplace.
It’s fine to have a chat with your subordinates, but you have to keep everyone on track, set a great example, and be able to talk to them in professional terms.
2. Keep it Separated
If you do go out after work with your team, like you used to, just remember to keep things separated the way that they should be.
Don’t go around spreading secrets from the higher levels of management, or repeating what your superiors or fellow managers have said to you.
In fact, outside of work, it’s better not to talk about work at all where possible.
3. Provide Support
When giving feedback and reviews, make sure that you position yourself as a friend as well as a manager who wants your friends to succeed.
This will take away the awkwardness and the sting of negative feedback.
It’s a good management tip to always talk about how employees can improve, rather than how they have failed; when you do this with your former peers, it will have the genuine ring of someone who wants to help them do better.
4. Let it Go
If someone is making problems for you, or is having trouble dealing with the fact that you are now above them, it’s time to let them go.
If they react in any way other than being pleased for you, then frankly, they weren’t really a friend anyway.
Push them back into the realm of a co-worker and subordinate only, and let go of your friendship.
5. Remember Feedback
What did you and your peers complain about with your former manager?
Was there something that everyone hated or moaned about behind the manager’s back?
It’s important to take this feedback on board and try to adjust your management style so that you keep your subordinates happy and productive.
If there is something you can’t avoid, you may wish to explain the decisions and process behind it so that everyone understands.
6. Take it Slow
Don’t try to overhaul everything right away.
Take the time to settle in, figure out how everything works from your new position, and think carefully.
If you want to bring in some changes, do it gradually and with tact. Try not to step on any toes or damage the relationships you already have.
7. Try Things Out
You may take some time to settle in to your new position, as well as the new persona that being a manager will require you to adopt.
No one is going to get it right first time, so make sure that you keep going, keep trying, and see what works.
Try not to go too crazy, and feel things out gradually – this will help you to correct anything that doesn’t quite work as you go.
Transitioning from peer to manager is a new challenge, and you should approach it with positivity rather than apprehension.
Of course it will be difficult to adjust with your former peers, but you can handle it – and so can they. Keep this in mind and you’ll do fine.
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