How do I make the switch from employee to manager without seeming bossy to my former peers?
Navigating the transition with humility and openness to feedback is key. Leveraging the skill sets of your former colleagues (now direct reports) and acknowledging their contributions publicly and privately will help you earn their trust.
Being a leader isn’t about asserting authority; it may be necessary in certain situations, but is not an effective leadership style. Effective leadership is about providing direction and the tools for your team to succeed. Though you do have a larger amount of responsibility and are ultimately accountable for any shortcomings that may occur, it is your job to bring out the best out in your team. Everyone should understand their role, be sure to make it clear that you respect what they bring to the table, and that it is not your intent to lord over them (in a sense). Negative feelings are usually borne from lack of trust. When employees know you truly have their best interests at heart and they are valued, the perception of bossiness is a non-issue.
Make the switch with humility. Do not brag about the promotion or suggest that you were chosen because you were better in some respect than your colleagues. Sit down in an informal setting, over a bag lunch, or drinks after work, and speak openly about the relationship that you wish to foster with each of your direct reports as their manager.
ACS Career Consultants are experts and leaders working in the field of chemistry who have volunteered to support other ACS members’ career development through one-on-one career counselling. They can stimulate your thinking, ask important career planning questions to help clarify goals, provide encouragement, teach strategies for making meaningful career decisions, and aid you in your job search. Connect with an ACS Career Consultant today!