Colleagues can be cool friends in the office and great companions out of the office and vice versa. Yet, some colleagues remain colleagues forever. Nothing wrong. It is a personal choice, and none can force friendship on others. After all, friendship is an emotional bond, and it is tightly protected. By all means, it has to be guarded.
Every office in the world has a set of people working toward the common goal — booming business and satisfied customers. Large organizations have several departments, while few individuals run smaller ones. But all in all, a chain of humans operates the business. We are aware, some people gel with others with ease, while some have difficulty getting along. It is natural. There was no need to write this here but wrote to reiterate human character.
People work, businesses succeed, and the interpersonal relationships of colleagues stand solid. But trouble begins when an individual is promoted as the boss or leader of those whom he worked till yesterday.
What happens? Any guesses?
Yes, The feeling of insecurity, jealousy, hatred to some extent, doubts, self-doubts, and many other assumptions, among others, shreds the unit down. And, of course, it is way too complicated for the person promoted, maybe turn blank, and have questions about managing former peers after promotion. The promoted individual is concerned that the peers and the team will be ambivalent in their work. So, gaining their support feels dubious. True, it is difficult, but not impossible, and there are professional ways to handle such situations. Here are a few tips.
Disengaging: Here, ‘disengaging’ stands for disengaging from casual conversations with colleagues because the promotion drives the person from employee to leadership development. Communicate with the team often, but wean off from informal conversations gradually. It’s the time to demonstrate leadership qualities, and being too friendly will make the job harder. People will be curious about the closed-door meetings and may ask questions; so, it is vital to set boundaries and address the situation skilfully.
Setting the tone: The new leader is an authority who will sign or approve salary hikes, performance reviews, and other official documents. It is tough being a colleague at one moment and a leader who has to give feedback on performance at the next moment. The phase is a bit critical as it raises transformational leadership; hence, for the new boss, it is vital to set the tone of a leader. Here, the leader needs to be careful while setting the tone; it should not be authoritative because it can lead to negativity and passiveness among the team members. Learning leadership skills from other leaders or enrolling in a leadership development program will breathe confidence and enhance professionalism.
Welcome the change: To gain something new and adjust, the new leader needs to let go of something else — maybe the friendly interactions, work-related conversations with former peers, etc. Welcoming the change will improve social life outside the office and help connect with colleagues at manager levels.
The chances of former peers trying to associate without reason may increase five to eight months down the line; so, the new leader should be cautious and keep unnecessary disruption at bay. Again while saying NO, the leader should recall the tone while managing people. Accepting the drastic change is difficult, but it is a matter of time; utilizing the right leadership style can make things comfortable in and out of the office.
Not just three, but there are a lot of elements that need to be attended by a new boss. Although we have covered just three points, they create a foundation for learning to manage peers after promotion.
Lastly, leaders create new leaders, and promotions result from displaying the ability to lead people. True leaders become much-loved leaders when they remain teachable and have the will to change the lives of others and create new leaders.