Friday, 30 November 2012

How to establish authority after promotion

Once the excitement of a new promotion has settled, the prospect of asserting authority over your previous peers can be daunting. Almost everyone interested in moving to positions of greater responsibility will face this problem at some point in their lives and the chances are very few will do it with ease. Whether your new employees continue to treat you like their friend or just ignore your requests, the peer-to-boss transition can be a tough one.

However, there are ways to negotiate through this bumpy period and emerge both as a stronger leader and a stronger team.

  • Firstly, do not let co-workers reactions ruin your happiness over your promotion. You worked hard and were chosen for a reason. If you believe in your abilities, others will too. 
  • Be confident, acting like a leader will make it easier for others to accept your new role. 
  • Connect with your team; express your commitment to their success and that of the company. If they believe you are still on their side they will co-operate better. 
  • Arrange a meeting. Outline your new responsibilities and any changes in their duties, explain exactly what you expect from them. 
  • Having once been their peer means you have a unique insight into each person’s strengths and weaknesses. Use this to your advantage to get them working at their best. 
  • Set boundaries. Your new role of authority will mean changing the way you act around your colleagues. Fo example it may no longer be appropriate to gossip or joke with them or to go out with them after work. Establishing these boundaries can help assert your role as a manager. 
  • Once promoted, that is your primary role, there is no point trying to be best friends with everyone, you must be firm when necessary. 
  • If one co-worker is refusing to accept your authority, you must take action. Talk to them about why they are having these difficulties, and if needs be, discipline them appropriately and fairly. 
Promotion is an important step in your career path. Do not let transition difficulties derail your progress. Believe in yourself and in your team and you should succeed.

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