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"I became the boss." How to communicate with former colleagues who are now subordinate
"I became the boss." How to communicate with former colleagues who are now subordinate

You will have to reconsider the relationship and, perhaps, even lose friends.

"I became the boss." How to communicate with former colleagues who are now subordinate
"I became the boss." How to communicate with former colleagues who are now subordinate

This article is part of the One-on-One Project. In it we talk about relationships with ourselves and others. If the topic is close to you, share your story or opinion in the comments. Will wait!

Career growth within the company is not uncommon. If a new position is vacated or created, it is logical to look for a person on the staff for it. The current employee will already be aware of what works at the start. And you can also evaluate his competence by the results of his work, and not by the entries in the resume.

For the employee himself, a promotion is usually a joyful and stressful experience at the same time. And one of the most frightening factors is relationships with colleagues. Yesterday you were all line personnel. We drank coffee together, covered each other, perhaps, they spoke evil of the authorities. But then the day came when this bosses - you yourself. And we need to interact with the team in a new way.

A difficult task arises: not to spoil relations with employees, but at the same time to establish communication so that they carry out assignments, accept criticism and do not put a spoke in the wheels. How exactly to solve all this, we deal with specialists.

Realize that you deserved a promotion

Being a leader is a new role for you. And it is much easier to enter it if you are confident in yourself. But various fears interfere with standing firmly on our feet. What if other employees think that you have taken your new position undeservedly? What if this is true? Can you handle it? Maybe someone was more worthy to become a leader? These fears complicate your life, make it difficult for you to make decisions and act on the basis of your new position.

Therefore, before thinking about how to improve relationships with colleagues, you need to realize that you have rightfully taken the place of the boss.

Surely you worked hard and hard before, came up with great ideas, or were already a leader in the team. In general, your promotion was a logical step up the career ladder. Therefore, try to believe: you are already well done and in the future you will also cope with everything.

Don't tune in to negativity

In general, preparing for the worst can be beneficial. If you assess the situation critically in advance, it will be much easier to find places where you can fall, and spread straws there.

But if you initially expect a trick from your colleagues and prepare to fend off attacks, this will be noticeable to both you and your employees and, naturally, will make communication less relaxed. Be bold. You may not need to take any defensive measures.

Renata Salakhetdinova Head of the Customer Service Department of OneTwoTrip Travel Planning Service.

I joined the company as a customer service specialist. Over the course of a year and a half, there were several promotions: first to a senior specialist, then to a presenter, and in the end I was offered the position of head of the department.

The first time was exciting not only for me, but also for colleagues. They did not quite imagine how I would show myself in a new role, so they treated with caution and waited. However, there were no conflicts and misunderstandings, we have a very cool and friendly team. Moreover, at that time I already had authority and trust among my colleagues.

Get to know the team in a new way

Sometimes, when you get promoted, it seems easier not to attract attention to yourself and work on as usual. However, pretending that nothing has changed is not the best tactic, because it will not be like before. It is worth highlighting what happened and discussing how you see your future work.

Yana Kolpakova Consultant psychologist.

Arrange a meeting with colleagues and talk to them. Emphasize that your assignment is a great opportunity for them to show themselves professionally and grow as well. Offer motivation, but also warn of responsibility for breaking the rules. Remind you that your bosses are behind you and that by letting you down, employees let themselves down. Show that you need their support.

Tell us about yourself, share your plans and your views on future work, discuss the rules of the game. This will make it clear how the roles have changed and reduce the amount of time spent grinding. You are now a leader, and colleagues are your subordinates, this must be taken for granted.

But be careful what you say: you are still one team doing a common cause. And the main work is performed by line employees.

Such conversations will also help at the start to learn about the expectations of colleagues and get to know the team better, because you probably communicated not equally closely with everyone.

Be impartial

To be impartial means not striving to please someone, relying on specific arguments in solving issues, and not on who is in front of you. That is, you need to become a fair leader.

This is obvious, but not easy. Among your new subordinates were your friends and those whom you do not know so well. In the past, your personal preferences had little impact on the overall course of your work. And now sympathies can become decisive, or at least seem so.

If you forgive your friends for mistakes, give them a nicer part of their work, or show your affection in a different way, everyone will notice. And this is unlikely to have a good effect on the climate in the team. Therefore, it is important to push aside personal attachment and lead objectively.

Maria Chistyakova Career consultant.

Reliance on the formal rules of the game will help here. The more understandable for all employees the business processes within the company, the less room for emotional and personal relationships and evaluations. For example, if you are faced with the task of assessing yesterday's colleague, do it as transparently and result-oriented as possible, take into account objective indicators like KPIs.

This approach allows you to separate the professional from the personal, both for the manager and for other employees. Let's say you agreed to let your friend go from work a little earlier, but another employee was refused the same request. It looks unfair. But if we imagine that during a part-time work a friend fulfilled the quota by 100% and turned out 100 parts, and another employee only 60, then the decision seems reasonable and objective.

Alina Bazhulina Manager of the branch of FORA-BANK in St. Petersburg.

When I became a leader, having worked in a private position for three years before, the most difficult thing was to learn how to give orders to employees, ask for the result and at the same time remain impartial.

Some subordinates also experienced difficulties in building relationships. It was not easy for some to accept instructions from a person who yesterday was on an equal footing. Nevertheless, out of 55 people in the team that I headed, only two we could not get along with. It was more of a personal dislike. People not only did not follow the instructions, but put sticks in the wheels, tried to expose me in an ugly light, even in trifles.

After two years of being in a leading position in the branch, I can say that all the difficulties are temporary. Those who could not rebuild - left, those who turned out to be more flexible - stayed and work in our team. I would like to note that friendly relations with some of the employees also came to naught, friends and acquaintances were left out of work.

Draw boundaries

As a manager, you will have to monitor your business reputation even more carefully so that all subordinates understand you correctly. Therefore, the boundaries in communication with colleagues, including those whom you consider friends, will have to be rebuilt. Do not allow familiarity. Do not engage in gossip exchanges. Filter the information you share about upstream management.

Remember: now you are responsible for the team, for its motivation and confidence in the future. And the mistakes of the team are also largely on your conscience.

Alexey Sutyagin Head of the OneTwoTrip travel planning service development team.

When I was appointed head of the development team, my experience with the company was just over two years. Distance is a traditional problem for all newly minted leaders. After all, at first you do not realize that your colleagues and friends have passed into the status of subordinates.

For example, this began to manifest itself when discussing the specifics of work, which did not always go in a positive direction, when we complained to each other about something. After a while, I realized that my opinion greatly influences the guys. And if you continue to collectively think in a negative way, people may start to work worse or leave the company altogether.

I came to the conclusion that I can change something if my colleagues and I do not like it. In addition, as a leader, it became necessary for me to broadcast confidence and explain more about how the processes in the company take place.

There was a moment with informal communication. For example, an incorrect joke can affect the whole team, since the manager's opinion and any of his statements are of great importance and can then be relayed. Therefore, I stopped joking with my subordinates and, before I said anything, began to think more and take care of myself, since everything I said influenced the employees in different ways. There is less ease and spontaneity in communication, and more formal moments.

Improve your management skills

Not every line employee can be a good leader, because management involves a completely different set of skills. Even if you are a natural leader, you still have a lot to learn.

Karina Shaydulatova Group Head of iBRUSH agency.

By the time I was promoted, I had been in the field for about five years and loved my business, clients, projects, and that everything was on the shelves. I didn’t think about the promotion, because I really liked to feel like a part of the team in the very hell, and it seemed to me that it was there.

At some point, my leader noticed more in me than I myself, and gave me the opportunity to manage a small team. The most tangible stress turned out to be knowledge about management not within the framework of specific projects or tasks, but globally within the department and its team. There was more responsibility, which is logical, but the goals also became different, and most importantly, the processes had to be set up at a completely different level.

Now the work is on stream, the team is used to the processes, and we are always discussing how they can be improved and what is missing. At this level of management, not to say that it is quieter, but definitely interesting.

It is not necessary to complete specific leadership courses, although they can sometimes be helpful. Observation and common sense are often enough. Some methods can be spied on from their bosses, who showed good results and earned the love of the team. Some things can be reached in a logical way. And the good old "just ask" method also works.

Maria Chistyakova Career consultant.

A good help in acquiring managerial competencies is communication with the bearer of such competencies. It's great if the company you work for has a manager who has already gone through the path of growth within the company. If there is no one like this near by, look among acquaintances and friends and in the vastness of social networks. Facebook is a very useful platform in this regard, where you are just a tap away from almost any manager.

Update updates carefully

If you are planning a radical change, do not bring it down on the heads of your employees. Usually, innovations frighten the collective or part of it and force them to take a defensive position. So wait a bit and let the staff know that you don't want anything bad.

Talk about problems face to face

This is a good rule of thumb not only for those who grew up within the company and became the boss of colleagues with whom they previously held positions at the same level. But in this case, public showdowns risk looking even worse. For example, they may be perceived as an attempt to settle scores or indicate their new status.

If your goal is to work effectively, it is best to point out the mistakes to the employee in private. It will still be unpleasant, but it will be easier to survive such criticism than a public flogging.

Use problem awareness

You grew up within the company, so you are well aware of all the problems that your employees face. In a new position, you have the opportunity not only to lead them, but also to represent their interests at a higher level in order to finally solve important issues. Naturally, this will add points to you. However, there is a nuance.

Yana Kolpakova Consultant psychologist.

Only professionalism now plays a role. It's okay to stand up for your subordinate in front of his superiors, so he feels the support in you. But don't let this be overused.

Another advantage is knowing your colleagues. You know who works how, who is motivated by what. Therefore, with some effort, you can find an individual approach to everyone and build understanding.

Remember that you are not a hostage to your position

Vertical growth is often presented as the highest good in a career, although this is not always the case. The set of responsibilities is completely different, and sometimes it turns out that the previous job was more enjoyable, brought much more pleasure and opportunities for development.

It would seem that in this case, you just need to return to a linear position. But here another stereotype usually works: supposedly no one himself refuses a leadership position, they leave it only forcibly. Therefore, promotion is perceived as a point of no return - either upward from a new position or into a circle of shame. This is certainly not the case.

Maria Ex-director of communications.

I never aspired to be a boss, I didn't like it at all. For me, leadership and power are about responsibility, fear, problems, not pleasure or awe. I worked for a communications agency. The place of the manager was vacated, and at that moment I turned out to be the most experienced of the managers. The general director invited me to take the vacant position.

Objectively understanding that there is no interest in the position even taking into account a significant increase in salary, I refused. The new person did not come, and the whole project suffered from this. Therefore, after another offer, I accepted the offer. But emotionally and psychologically, it was torture.

It turned out that I was not able to be a leader and, above all, to build personal boundaries. My desire to maintain good relationships with managers did not allow for healthy boss-subordinate communication. The fact that I left a managerial position limited me. My main goal was to make the employee perform well. It was easier for me to take on more tasks than to explain why not.

I couldn't just quit. It seemed to me that in the eyes of others I looked like a capricious girl who has both a salary and a position, but she is unhappy with everything. I tried to solve the problem, thinking that I needed to restructure my attitude to work. So I got to a psychologist: the sessions helped me, but not globally. After some time, I realized that I simply could not go on.

In addition to the banal fatigue and endless working day (I sat at the computer from 9 to 21 o'clock, and sometimes more, continuing to work at night), I began to notice alarm bells in myself, after which I realized: this is no longer possible. I became aggressive and often snapped at my daughter, I realized that I was living in a feeling of eternal anxiety.

I lasted a year and came to the conclusion that the project also suffers from my leadership: it does not grow, it does not develop. In an effort to avoid the dissatisfaction of managers, I avoided changes, while burning out emotionally. In addition, I realized that I myself am not growing professionally, moving away from practice to theory. Therefore, I decided to leave the position and return to the position of a manager, but in a different company.

Many professions offer great opportunities for horizontal growth. And the salaries of good line employees are higher than those of middle managers. Therefore, dismissal from the position of a boss should not be taken as a failure. If you are uncomfortable in a leadership position, go back to what you love. This is fine.