5 Tips for Transitioning from Co-Worker to Supervisor

It can be tricky to make that transition from someone’s co-worker to someone’s boss.  A lot of crazy stuff can start going down when that happens.  Sometimes, co-workers will have a hard time accepting you or really coming to terms with the fact that you are now the one in charge and are no longer just a co-worker to them, but you are in fact something far different.

One time I was promoted to a managerial position at a very young age.  A lot of my co-workers who were older than me did not react well.  Basically, they felt like they had been cheated out of a promotion that absolutely should have been theirs.  Who can blame them though?  Well, I can.  They weren’t working half as hard as I was and it was showing too.  The owner of the company picked me for the job and not without good reason to boot.  I boomed that department of the business in a year as a result of the promotion, something the other co-workers couldn’t do.

I can see though that it can be quite difficult to make that key transition from co-worker to boss.  I definitely get that that can be difficult, not only for you but for your fellow employees as well.  It’s tough enough that you have a lot of different things going on in you new position that you now have to learn about, but now you also have to deal with underlings too, some of whom might not really be all that interested in calling you “Boss.”

How to Make the Transition a Smooth One

I have observed this transition and this change quite a bit.  I think I’ve come up with a few good ideas on how one can go about making this change.

Here they are:

• #1: You really need to make sure that you realize that your previous personal relationships with co-workers will need to be moved to a different level because you’re no longer a peer.  That makes sense right?  Your relationship with your co-workers needs to be on a different level now.  You are now the person who assigns work, analyzes productivity, and provides performance appraisals; you’re not just their “co-worker” any more.

• #2: You need to see your HR representative to find out what training and support is available as you take on your new leadership role.  You need to keep in mind that you need to focus on you too, not just your fellow employees and subordinates.

• #3: It’s a good idea to sit down one-on-one with each person in the department to discuss their feelings about your transition to manager and see how they feel about it. Talk about the expectations you have of each other and get potential issues out on the table so you can address them right out of the box.  It is best to do this sooner rather than later.

• #4: It’s very wise to ensure that everyone on the team understands your new role as their manager and the responsibilities that are expected of you as well as the role each of them plays in the success (or failure) of the department too, and all that that will entail ultimately.

• #5: I would strongly recommend that you take the time to work out some kind of a game plan for how you and your team can best work together to achieve the goals and objectives of the department so that everyone wins and everyone wins in a big, big way.  You need to be sure to clearly and concisely communicate those goals and objectives to everyone in your group.

This is by no means a complete list.  However, the above tips can definitely be used to make big changes in one’s transition into the life of an executive.

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