Congratulations! You’ve just been promoted.  Except… you now manage the team you once were a part of.  This can be one of the hardest things you will do at work, especially if you have not been a supervisor or manager before.  Here are six tips to keep in mind to help you along the way.

  1. You may experience push-back from your team, or you may sense that they will not take you seriously. There will be some who will be jealous, particularly if they also applied for that position.  Be fair and honest, and treat each person on your team respectfully.
  2. Don’t take things personally, which can be easier said than done. Stay professional and realise you are no longer their co-worker.  It helps to talk to your training department or your human resources team to learn what opportunities there are for management training.
  3. Focus on the outcomes you and your team want to attain, and then help coach and motivate your team to achieve those goals. Each person can and will make a unique contribution to those outcomes, so be sure that even if you have team meetings, that you take the time to have a personal meeting with each person to find out what they perceive the path to success to be, and to clear the air over any issues they perceive to exist.  The good part is, you already have an idea of what each person’s gifts are, and where their drawbacks are as well.
  4. Help your team to see that you above anyone else who could be leading them know the challenges the team has faced in the past. They will be happy to know that you can communicate those issues to upper managers in a way that will hopefully get those challenges addressed.
  5. Don’t be afraid to say that you know this will be an adjustment time as you get used to your new role and they get used to you being their supervisor. Candour can go a long way towards helping build trust.  Avoid, however, any bashing of upper managers or the person you are replacing – you want to be professional and approachable.
  6. Solicit feedback from a trusted manager or fellow supervisor. It can be easy when you are in the thick of things to not see what your actions and words convey, but if you have someone from outside your team observe and provide feedback, you get that chance to correct or improve a habit.