Coach's Corner

Interacting with Former Peers After a Promotion
Nov 3, 2022
Michelle Gladieux, Gladieux Consulting
Coach's Corner

Hi Michelle,

I've been promoted to supervisor. How do I interact with employees who have always been my peers?

Congratulations! Our organizations don’t just need more qualified employees, we need more employees willing to step up to provide direction for their teams. You’ve shown impressive gumption by stepping across the line from employee to supervisor. While of course this move brings benefits, it always brings challenges, too. The tough parts are worth it because you’re able to more significantly and positively influence company culture. You’ll improve the lives of employees and clients – in your case, you can be a blessing to the patients your medical practice serves.

Ready yourself for this adventure by thinking about what types of things you can influence as a supervisor, and what you can’t.

You’re more able to control:

  • the expectations you set for yourself as a supervisor
  • the expectations you help create for your employees
  • which types of workplace behaviors you’ll reward and which you’ll confront (tip: document this)
  • your thoughts (to some extent) and your actions (to a greater extent)
  • your goals (with input from your boss)
  • how you speak to yourself and others
  • how often and how helpfully you deliver feedback
  • whether or not you prioritize stress management to build resilience, which every supervisor needs

You’ll be less able to control:

  • what others say and think about you
  • whether your efforts will be rewarded
  • whether you receive meaningful feedback (although you can regularly ask for it from diverse sources – employees, supervisors, and get the voice of the customer, too)
  • how others manage stress
  • you surely can’t control what’s happened with prior supervisors, so you may need to remind your team that it’s a new day. You bring your own vision with room for their input.

A few questions to light your way:

  1. Do you deserve this promotion and possess the knowledge, skills and ability to give this a go? If so, remember that! Your employer made a good choice when they chose you. If you feel less than qualified, be a self-starter to get the training you need to succeed, and move quickly.
  2. Did someone else on your team want this promotion? If so, a chat to acknowledge the awkwardness of the situation can help clear the air. 
  3. How will you celebrate this achievement? It’s a milestone in your career and deserves acknowledgement as such.

Thanks for following the whisper from within that asks you to lead. Do all the good you can for as long as you can, pressing “pause” sometimes to rest. 

IMG Insurance Management Group

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