Managing Your Former Peers

Getting promoted within your work group can be a huge challenge especially if some of your former peers believe that they are entitled to the job.

iStock Managing Former Peers Managing Your Former Peers

Common reactions can include:

  • Overt anger where they are openly hostile towards you
  • Undermining you in meetings
  • Refusing to do what you ask of them
  • Not letting you know when there are problems or issues to be dealt with
  • Constantly reminding you how the previous manager’s approach was better
  • Insubordination
  • White-anting any change or new initiatives
  • Giving you the silent treatment

Here are some steps you can take to transition from being a peer to managing your former peers:

  • Tread lightly at first to give the team time to get used to the change in management
  • Meet individually with each of your team to listen to any concerns they may have
  • Discuss your vision for the department and let them know that you value their work and contribution to the team and organisation
  • Resist the urge to make too many changes too quickly
  • Ensure that they know what they can expect from you as their manager
  • Talk to them early about their career goals and aspirations and how you can support them
  • Distance yourself and remove yourself from socialising with staff
  • Don’t stop being friendly and approachable with your staff
  • Establish your authority without stepping on anyone’s toes
  • Focus on being fair with every individual including the difficult ones
  • Deal with disruptive behaviour and ask for help if you you need it
  • Invite feedback
  • And, most importantly, don’t apologise for getting the role.  You deserved it!

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