Getting promoted – from being a buddy to a boss

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It is common, especially when employees are promoted into a management or supervisory position, they often have trouble with the transition from being a buddy to being a boss.

Q: Do they become too soft on people, or too tough?

A: It can be both, some let the promotion go to their head and get all bossy and others go easy on people hoping that they will be liked.

The too-tough boss, pulls the “I’m the boss and you’ll do what I say” routine which is destructive. The previous co-workers often turn on this style of boss, hide stuff from him or her or even try to make the boss look bad. This of course causes stress for the boss and reduces productivity.

The “I’m still your buddy” boss often tries to make everyone happy. They don’t ask much of the employees and often do a lot of the work themselves. The employees then resent the fact that the boss doesn’t expect much and won’t address performance problems. They lose respect for the boss and productivity goes down.

Q: So what do you suggest?

A: My recommendation is first – for the company to be sure they have selected someone with leadership potential, interest and aptitude. Then it is important to give the new leader some leadership training so they can learn some of the basics – like the importance of taking a personal interest in the people you manage and also challenging them to grow. Delegating work and following up to make sure it got done. How to give praise for a job well done and confront and correct an employee when they are off track.

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