What to Do When You’re Suddenly the Boss of Your Friends

While it can feel great to get a promotion into a position of authority, the sudden realization that you now have to direct former co-workers and even your friends can be a bit of a downer.

In order to succeed in your new role, you need to get comfortable with the idea that you are the supervisor of these people now and your relationship has to change. That doesn’t mean putting up an emotional wall and handing down regulations from on high. However, it does mean you can no longer complain to each other about work problems or spend hours at the bar together after work.

Below are a few simple steps for redefining your relationship with your former co-workers in a way that allows all of you to be happy and succeed.

Embrace the new dynamic

Before you start taking formal steps to adjust your relationship with your old co-workers, you need to realize that there needs to be a change, and you must be the one to define your relationship moving forward.

If you are used to coming into work and enjoying the social aspect of working together on a team, separating yourself can be tough. Sometimes, being more social outside of work can give you those social interactions that you crave. You could also try to connect with the other managers at your organization.

Realize these changes are difficult, but worth making and embracing.

Hit the reset button

While your relationship with your former colleagues officially changes the second you accept the promotion, it can be helpful to hit the reset button by holding either a group meeting or series of individual meetings.

When you meet with your old co-workers, be sure to let them know that you will still be there for them, as you were when you worked alongside each other. Also, let your employees know that you will be guiding and supporting them so they can one day get a promotion themselves, should they want one.

By the way, you don’t have to formally announce that your relationship is changing. You just need to imply that it is, and calling a meeting essentially does that for you.

Avoid the office gossip

Let’s keep it real: Every workplace has gossip and a rumor mill. Hopefully, at your workplace, gossiping is fairly harmless and a way to blow off steam.

As a manager, you cannot engage in the office gossip of your employees, even if it is harmless in nature. As a boss who is in charge of reviewing employees, everything you say carries a bit more weight and engaging in office gossip could even land you in legal trouble.

Of course, you can still talk to your employees about their vacations or what their kids are up to. You just need to steer clear of anything close to office politics.

At Labor Temps, we support both new and well-established managers through custom staffing solutions and managed services. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your organization.