How to Transition from Mate to Manager


Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Management pros

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Going from someone's friend to their manager can be a difficult task, with a lot of potentially awkward situations, but there are ways you can make this transition less painful.

Article 2 Minutes
How to Transition from Mate to Manager

Making the move from co-worker to boss can potentially risk jeopardizing your career or team relations. You spend a large amount of your time with the people you work with so it's completely understandable that you can develop close ties with your colleagues.



But if you get a promotion that makes you their boss, what do you do? It can be difficult to change the dynamic and it's sure to be uncomfortable for you at times - especially during the beginning - but there are ways you can make it easier.

Understand their point of view

As you're the one changing job position, it can be easy to forget that your co-workers are also having to adjust to a new scenario. Understanding their pain points and motivations will help you communicate with them better and make the transition easier. It may take your colleagues a little time to get used to the different dynamics between you, so it's important that you remain professional at all times.

Don't allow previous relationships to influence you

Whether positive or negative, you shouldn't let the opinions you had of people before you became their manager affect your decisions now you are responsible for them. Your colleagues may have said certain things to you about others or the company that they wouldn't dream of doing now you're their manager. To make the transition as smooth as possible, you almost need to forget everything that happened before you were promoted.

Make your new role clear

Establishing what your new role will entail and how this will affect the people you are now managing is an important part of the process. This should include what your key responsibilities are, what they need to consult you on, and who they should talk to if they think you're wrong about something. Doing this at the start may be uncomfortable but it will make the whole process easier in the long term.

Specify your goals

When you start your new role it's important that you clearly explain what your goals and objectives are. This will help them understand why you may ask them to do certain things and why they matter to the wider company.

Start as you mean to go on

Although it's good to understand that your co-workers are trying to adjust too, you need to be the manager you want to be from Day One. This will help you solidify your new authority and also ensure your former colleagues know what to expect. Continuing to try to be friends with the people you are now managing instead of being their boss can just blur the lines and make things much more difficult for everyone.

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