Congratulations! You just got a promotion, or maybe you started your own business. And all of a sudden, you find yourself in charge of supervising close friends and peers. It’s a tricky position to be in, and you’ll likely need to navigate it carefully. The good news is that managing friends is one of the best ways to develop your leadership skills, because you can’t fool ‘em – they know you best! Here are some tips for getting through the transition:
Don’t flaunt it
Be proud of your accomplishments, but don’t throw the new hierarchy in their face. They may have been gunning for the same job, for all you know. Be empathetic to their situation and celebrate humbly instead of bragging or showing off.
Now that you’re the manager, act like it. Respectfully. Squash any self doubts you have, and don’t be weird about it either. If possible, hold a face-to-face meeting with each of your direct reports, and acknowledge what your expectations of them, and your relationship, will be going forward.
Things have changed. Being the boss might mean that you don’t get invited to lunch, or be included in the same conversations. They might actually be griping about you. And that’s okay. It’s better to distance yourself a little from the same old chit-chat. It will be a lot easier to have hard conversations with them with a subtly new authoritative role to heed.
You were once their peers, and thus may know a lot of past discretions and secrets. Leave it in the past, and start fresh. This doesn’t mean you should allow them to break company policy in the future, but you can’t hold past sins against them. Don’t bring up old stuff. It’s a brand new day.
Don’t make any big sudden changes. This might be difficult if you’re enthusiastic and full of new ideas. We’re not recommending you dismiss new ideas, just wait, for now. Think of this as a transition to your new relationship with them and yourself! Give yourself time to observe and understand the new position, and evolve into
The best managers are the ones that help their people succeed. Listen to their needs, complaints, and suggestions. Teach them to be better at their job, or find someone else who can. You scratch their back, they’ll scratch yours.
Stay the course and you’ll eventually feel comfortable in the new role. And if you need more employees for your team once you get settled, give Madden today, we can help you get top talent