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How to Successfully Navigate the Transition from Co-Worker to Manager

How to Successfully Navigate the Transition from Co-Worker to ManagerGetting promoted internally is a huge accomplishment and is certainly something to celebrate. However, when you move from co-worker to manager, your position and status within that organization will change. In order to navigate the change successfully and to excel as a manager, utilize these strategies:

Know that you’ll have to renegotiate your existing relationships

While you may have once enjoyed going to Happy Hour with co-workers and sharing personal stories and gossip, this kind of relationship will need to change once you become a manager. It’s unfortunate but necessary in order to earn the respect of the people you’ll now be charged with overseeing. It’s difficult to delegate work, analyze productivity, and offer performance reviews if you’re still spending every weekend at the bar with these people.

Try to put past relationships with co-workers aside as you make decisions

When you go from being someone’s peer to being their manager, it’s very easy to let past relationships and feelings cloud your judgment. As much as possible, avoid doing this. It doesn’t matter whether you loved or hated this person when you sat next to them; what really matters is how they do their job. Try to enter into your new role with a clean slate and a fresh perspective. This will allow you to be effective and fair.

Acknowledge the change

If you’re trying to navigate your new role, chances are that your colleagues may be feeling slightly uncomfortable with the shift too. Feel free to acknowledge this change in an honest conversation with these people. Explain your goals and visions as a manager, and keep lines of communication open.

Fight the urge to become a dictator

Some people are so focused on showing that they’re not playing favorites that they go the other way and end up treating their entire staff poorly. Realize that you don’t need to be a dictator in order to be a good manager. You can treat your employees with respect and kindness, while still keeping the company on track.

How did you manage a transition from co-worker to manager? Let us know in the comments!

Image: dolgachov/

Lauren Levine

Lauren Levine is a copywriter/blogger who contributes to a number of magazines and websites including The Frisky, USA Today, and others. She also authors her own blog called Life with Lauren. She loves cooking, anything on the E! network, and is trying to convince herself that running isn't so bad.