So you got promoted and now are the boss of your former colleagues. It feels awkward, doesn’t it? How do you maintain your friendship as well as manage your colleagues? It truly is a million-dollar question but the answer is simple – by being a boss and not a buddy.
Yes, you can of course maintain a good relationship with your employees and shouldn’t let this new found power go to your head; but know that a manager who tries to act like a buddy on/off the job won’t be able to manage his/her team. Soon everyone will figure out that the non-managing “buddy” is getting a manager’s salary for doing nothing. You will lose respect and integrity.
The manager’s responsibility is to be the manager in an employee’s life – nothing more. He should, at all costs, avoid being a buddy, parent, or psychiatrist, those are roles meant for others to fill. No manager should assume the responsibility of making everyone feel loved, protected, and adored. In the words of Fortune Group President, Steven Brown,
You cannot be responsible for people; however, by necessity, you must be responsible to people.
In this article, we will be discussing tips on how to be a boss and not a buddy.
If you start giving preferential treatment to your former colleagues you could end up being seen as being biased or someone who shows favoritism in the office. This is one of the most de-motivating circumstances that can destroy relationships, trust, and initiative.
[bctt tweet=”So, avoid being over-friendly and evaluate everyone in the team based on their work efforts and performance.” username=”myaptask”]
Be prepared to deal with some good amount of jealousy. After all, you got promoted and not your former colleague. The best way to cope with it is to show respect and remain professional at all times. If a certain colleague can’t handle it, take him/her aside and deal with it without being apologetic. Tell him/her that it’s the management’s decision and even though the relationship has changed you hope it’s for the betterment of both parties. Assure them that they will get your full support and in return, they have to give you the performance that his/her role demands. If they still can’t see the fair managerial stance you proposed, ask them to take it up with the upper management.
You don’t always need to be tough and demanding. Yes, there will be times when you have to do things that are in the best interest of the company. At that time, do what you have to do; but also accept that the things you cannot change and have the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference between the two. Try to be more like a leader who coaches and shows how it’s done, inspires and empowers others, accepts the blame, and gives credit/appreciation for a job well done.
No one ever said managing people would be easy. If it were then you wouldn’t be getting paid a salary higher than your peers. Managing, in fact, should bring about some good, as well as painful experiences. It’s in these experiences that you develop mental toughness that is required for the job.
I would like to conclude this article with this thought
[bctt tweet=”Would you still choose to hang out on weekends with your boss cum buddy after having a stressful week at work? No right – It will be hard.” username=”myaptask”]
In the end, we all need our space and timeout to relax and regain. So, stop playing the clown and start making some tough, emotionally difficult decisions regarding your employees.
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