How to Transition from Peer to Manager

The transition from your team’s peer to their manager is an interesting one.

There’s this odd reality of your team making new relationships with one another while simultaneously trying to understand their relationship with you.

Transitioning from peer to manager involves presenting an identity that is different from your previous self; you can no longer open up and be vulnerable to your team. But by creating a positive, welcoming environment and showcasing your desire to help your employees succeed, they will feel appreciated and will work hard.

As you progress from your team’s peer to their manager, it’s natural to feel nervous or face criticism. Accept that your role, as well as the dynamics of your team, will need to change.

  • To reintroduce yourself as a leader, schedule one-on-one sessions with your staff.
  • Take it easy in your first few months as a manager, but don’t be afraid to have a frank discussion or set clear limits with former peers who act out or continue to treat you like one.
  • Stay humble and solicit ideas and knowledge from former colleagues, as well as engage in their development to gain their support.
  • Finally, keep in mind that the quickest method to establish respect and credibility is to act and speak appropriately. If you exude confidence and passion, your team will follow suit.

Negativity should be dealt with as soon as possible.

If one of your prior coworkers has a pessimistic attitude, don’t let it spread to the rest of the team. Instead, deal with the issue as soon as possible. Have a private conversation with them and explain that while the adjustment will be difficult, the team’s success is contingent on everyone maintaining a positive attitude and an open mind.

The key takeaways

  • As a new manager, it’s natural to feel nervous or face criticism.
  • To reintroduce yourself as a leader, schedule one-on-one sessions with your staff.
  • If you exude confidence and passion, your team will follow suit.
  • The quickest way to establish respect and credibility is to act and speak appropriately.
  • Allowing a negative attitude to permeate to the rest of the team is not a good idea at all.
  • Have a private talk with your team and explain that while the transition will be challenging, it will only be possible if everyone keeps an optimistic attitude.

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