6 ways to maintain a good relationship with colleagues after promotion

Written by guest blogger - Justine Thomas 

What makes one's life at office interesting and pleasant is being able to work with people you really like and consider your colleagues as friends. And as you work and your professionalism grows, the day of your promotion comes. Change in position brings not only new responsibilities and functions of you as a professional but also requires an ability to lead. In short, you need to reconsider the relationship with your fellow colleagues and establish the new communication strategy. The personal and professional relationship usually do not come together smoothly as changes in official hierarchy brings change in attitude as well.  Here are 6 ways that will ease the transition and help you maintain a good relationship with now-subordinates.

1. Have a personal interview with each co-worker

Meet with each person individually and make a clear picture of his/her functions. You should understand that from the moment of your promotion you’re in charge of everything that happens in your team. Even if you are familiar with other member’s duties, let the person explain it to you once again so you could fairly evaluate the workload and the performance outcome. Also, a personal meeting helps to clear out possible misunderstandings and/or discontent with your promotion at the earliest stage of your leadership. Talk to your coworkers about the changes in your relationship. Let them know you are there to support them and help them to be successful anyways. Thus, you will be able to solve the problem without an open conflict.

2. Keep the distance

Embrace the fact that from now on you will always be a step forward of your team. You will speak for them, make decisions and do suggestions that will impact everyone in your company. Noblesse oblige. Thus, you will have to break some old traditions you used to have with your peers in order to help them make the mental transition. Have you ever had a feeling of discomfort when buddying around the boss? And so now that’s you. Moreover, if earlier you could chat with other co-workers about such sensitive things as company’s policies, other managerial staff, and their decisions, now these topics are a complete no-no. Now you should be very careful in commenting and, at least, be neutral. However, it would be better that you find positive sides of the taken decisions and explain to your team.

3. Stay friendly, but don’t play favorites

Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean that you have to avoid everyone. The leader’s job is to be open to help people achieve their goals. Remember that your attitude toward each employee should be equally friendly and respectful. Yet, you must not do favors or give in to someone’s requests just because you used to be better friends before your promotion. You can bet that once you give way to such appeals, you’re going to be seen as a weak-willed person and undermine your authority as a leader.

4. Ask for support, but be adamant in your decisions

A good team makes a good leader. You must value each of your teammates as real professionals (otherwise, how did they make it to their place?) and be open to hearing all their ideas and suggestions. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you need one and listen carefully to what the person says. However, it is your job to make decisions and lead the team the way you think brings all of you to success. Thus, once the decision is taken, accept your responsibility and don’t hang back if the obstacle comes. People trust those who can lead, savvy?

5 Delegate it!

Most likely, you have been named a manager because of your vast experience and skills. And now your job is to make other employees develop their skills to the better level. You actually can and should apply your knowledge in complicated situations, but only after you make sure that the assignee did his or her best and the issue can’t be solved without you. As a manager, you should trust your co-workers and fairly evaluate his or her knowledge. Only in this case, your help will be accepted with gratitude.

6. Be optimistic

Things may turn out better than you expect. Your friends will probably get thrilled with your promotion and sincerely support your leadership. So your dramatical change from the good buddy they had to a grumpy boss will not be a good way to improve relationship. You should find the balance between personal and professional life.

The main idea of leadership is to inspire people for amazing progress and as long as you are able to ignite their interest to the project, your team will be successful.

Justine Thomas has 3 years of experience in HR and is a passionate blogger, interested in career development and  psychology. 

Professional Academy offer a range of Management & Leadership Training as both bespoke in-company training with the option of accredited CMI qualification pathways and management & leadership qualifications for individuals looking to progress in their management career. Why not contact us today to see if we can help you with your personal development as a manager and a leader?