You’ve been eagerly awaiting this promotion and you finally have it. What could possibly be the downside? Well, if that promotion put you in the role of a leader to your former peers, things can feel a little awkward. On one hand, you’ve gotten everything you’ve worked hard for. On the other hand, the social dynamics at work will never be the same. It’s tricky, but with the right strategy, you can become both an effective leader and friend to your peers.
Walk in Softly
Most people don’t deal with big changes well. Your former peers aren’t used to taking orders from you, and some of them might have had their eyes on the very same position you’ve secured. They could initially be resistant to your leadership. That’s why it’s important not to gloat, even if you’re thrilled about your promotion. Start off slowly, and gradually build fair authority in your leadership. Everyone will need a little time to get used to things – including you. Putting a rush on it will only make things more complicated.
Don’t Pretend Things Are The Same As Always
You can’t get together and giggle about your leader’s gaffes anymore – you are the leader. Your role in the group has changed, and you can’t be as casual and lax with your former peers as you used to be. You might have even considered a few of them to be your friends. You can maintain those friendships outside of the workplace. If you’re able to truly leave work at work, things will be just fine. When you’re at work, you need to speak like a leader and not like one of the gang.
Take Mentorship From Your Higher-Ups
If this is your first leadership role, or it’s different from any other leadership role you’ve taken on in the past, turn to your higher ups for advice. They’ve probably worked in your position before they got where they are, and they’ll have a lot of help to offer you. It’s the job of your higher-ups to ascertain that you’re able to excel at your position – everyone benefits when leaders are effective at managing their teams. They’ll be happy to provide the guidance you need to help you navigate your new situation.
Don’t Be a Boss
The worst possible thing you could do is push the dial up to eleven in order to establish yourself as the leader of the group. That’s not being a leader – it’s being a boss. Nobody likes a boss. Leaders care about their teams, listen to their input, and actively seek ways to incorporate everyone’s voice into the successful completion of a project. Leaders participate in projects and facilitate communication, rather than watching from the sidelines. They don’t work for you, you work with them. You simply play different roles now.
Strengthen Your Team
Outside of all of the shifts in dynamic and adjustment periods and new skills to build, the most important responsibility of a leader is his or her ability to strengthen a team. You’ll be responsible for assigning tasks to the people best suited to them, hiring new members who bring a diverse skillset to the team, and being the driving force behind the success of every project. You need to step up to the plate and make everyone proud – your team, your own leader, and the clients or customers you serve together.
Things might be a little weird at first, but they’ll feel more normal as time goes on. You earned this promotion, and now is your chance to show your own leader that selecting you to fill that position was the right choice.
About the author:
Michelle Arios – is a careers and business blogger, deeply interested in all aspects that allow business grow and expand, be it marketing, social media or proper HR. Michelle is currently supporting Bizdb.co.nz, a businesses directory. Feel free to follow her on her Twitter: @MichelleArios.