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‘I just got promoted — how do I manage my peers?’

Tuesday, May 07, 2013   (0 Comments)
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trudybpicBy Trudy Bourgeois

I recently received a promotion and am now managing people who were once my peers. How do I get over the awkwardness and handle potential jealousies or misunderstandings?

This is one of the most challenging experiences as a leader. I recommend you have one-on-one meetings with your direct reports to inquire how they feel about you being their leader. The most important thing to do in this meeting is listen. You want them to see and feel that you authentically care.

After meeting with each team member individually, call a group meeting. Tell the group your heard what was important to them and hare what is important to you in terms of how the team functions. Emphasize the importance of collaboration, respect, inclusion, honesty and transparency. Clearly explain your expectations and remind them you are focused on leading the team to its highest level of performance. Share what won’t be accepted in terms of behavior from you or anyone else. These things include politics, backstabbing and undermining. Call these out as destructive behaviors that eat away at what’s most important to you – trust! Finally, remind them the only difference now is you are in a different position. The relationships you have built don’t need to change. 

Will there be times when you can’t tell them everything? Yes. When those times come, simply tell them you can’t share specifics at that point. If you’ve done all the things outlined above, then they will trust you have their best interests at heart. 

Trudy Bourgeois is happy to answer your career questions. Please email them to NEW Communications Manager Barbara Grondin Francella.

Trudy Bourgeois is founder and CEO of The Center for Workforce Excellence 
and NEW Executive Leaders Forum conference designer.

Views expressed in signed blogs and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and sponsors.

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