Promoted Over Your Peers? How to Lead a Team of Co-workers

You got the promotion. It comes with new responsibilities and new benefits. However, it also comes with a unique challenge. As the victor, you now need to navigate a new landscape of leading your coworkers, including a few who wanted the job you got. 

The transition from peer to leader all depends on your first few weeks. Here are our best tips to manage your teammates. 

Get Reacquainted as  Leader 

You didn’t get tapped to lead the team because of a fluke. It was your skills combined with the vision that helped you get started. However, your coworkers may not have seen what your boss did. 

Rather than force a transition, ease into it by meeting with your team members and getting reacquainted. Let them know what you see for the seem and ask them for their input. 

Don’t forget to get and reaffirm your co-worker’s pain points. Now that you have the power to make changes, hearing their concerns and suggestions again may give you a new perspective. 

Earn Your Influence 

You were one of the team on Friday, and now it’s Monday, and you’re the team leader. Your team won’t follow your influence just because you had a title change. 

You won the role because your boss believed you would be a good leader. Now is the time to start showing everyone what you can do. Work hard, listen more than you talk, and start working on earning your influence. It will make the smoothest transition into management. 

Set Clear Expectations 

As a team member, you could go to Happy Hours, laugh at the water cooler, and commiserate with your colleagues. While there’s no ‘us’ and ‘them’ when you become a leader, you need to set clear expectations if you want to lead. 

You now need to figure out how to be approachable and friendly without compromising your impartiality. One of the best ways to do this is to be as clear about your work. Be honest about what you’re looking for, and give useful feedback. 

Being open and transparent will transform your colleagues into a team that emulates your influence. 

Be the Leader Your Boss Knew You Could Be 

Managing your coworkers can be awkward, but there was a reason you got the promotion. Your superiors believe in your ability to lead. And that’s just what you need to do. 

While some things do need to change, you just need to keep being you and be as willing to work for your coworkers’ respect as you were willing to work for the promotion. 

Are you looking for your next leadership role?

RightStone is placing highly-skilled candidates into IT leadership roles right now. Get in touch to learn how you could find your next position. 

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