From employee to supervisor: Suddenly boss - 7 tips


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If long-serving members TeamMembers and colleagues suddenly become bosses, which often leads to conflicts. Envy, intrigue, exclusion are often the result. How do the new executives handle it?

From Employee to Supervisor: Suddenly Chief - 7 Tips From Employee to Supervisor: Suddenly Chief - 7 Tips


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Jürgen W. Goldfoot 75Jürgen W. Goldfuß is a columnist at Handelsblatt, a management consultant and manager for executives.

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What to do after the promotion?

After many years of effort, the time has finally come: you will be promoted to head of the department. But how does one behave in this new situation? And what greaves should you avoid, in order to avoid conflicts as much as possible?

"And suddenly you are no longer invited to birthday parties," someone told me recently. "That is part of it." You can find out what else is involved and how you can best deal with the new situation here.

7 tips for new bosses to deal with employees

What if the old friends suddenly react strangely to your jokes? What are the possible pitfalls and how do you avoid them? 7 tips on how to handle the new situation.

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1. Courage to be unpopular

A common mistake that is seen frequently is the leader's attempt to be “Everybodys Darling”. You can't always please everyone without rubbing yourself up.

A certain courage to be unpopular is required here. It is important to explain to employees why, for example, you cannot fulfill a wish. "Popularity fades away, respect remains" or "Everybodies darling - everyone's idiot", two sayings that illuminate the topic properly.

2. As a boss to be taken seriously?

But how can one achieve to be taken seriously as a new boss? A tip: Do not bend. The ex-colleagues now expect a leadership personality. As such, one must maintain one's own personality.

A question that keeps asking new executives time and time again: Should I try to do everything differently than the previous boss? Or rather follow in his footsteps?

3. Innovations right through boxing

It may be useful to know why the old boss left to avoid the same mistakes. However, you should never get involved in a comparison with the predecessor.

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Do self-marketing. It is best to make innovations at the beginning. Once everyday life returns, it's hard to sell your innovations and ideas.

4. Being a boss - this is how it works

Now not all colleagues will immediately understand that the new boss is now in a different role. How do you react to comments like "Now don't come out of the boss, last time you were completely different with beer?".

Choose your words in the new role with more sensitivity than before. The old "buddy attitude" can easily be misunderstood in the current situation.

5. Beware of colleagues of the opposite sex

Especially in the relationship between man and woman in the age of #Meetoo a deliberate withdrawal is appropriate, too fast, harmless gestures can be misunderstood.

Hugs, for example, tend to be out of place. The "you" should still be consistently followed. However, be careful not to treat anyone preferentially based on the title.

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6. Criticism of colleagues

What is difficult for many in the new role is to criticize the work of a former colleague. The word "criticism" should be replaced by "target / actual comparison".

Sit down with the employee and just ask how you could improve the situation. Think of the sentence "Most people prefer to be ruined by praise rather than built up by criticism". Here, too, the right choice of words is crucial for success.

7. Caution sandwich position

A further balancing act, which wants to be mastered, is the intermediary position between the superior boss and the subordinate employees. Here you are in a buffer function, in the sandwich position.

And like a sandwich, the most important part is in the middle, without it the whole sandwich tastes bland. Show with confidence that you represent your employees with conviction that you stand behind them and at the same time show your boss that he is looking after you and yours Team can leave fully.

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  1. Oliver

    Thank you for your contribution, too bad I did not read it earlier: Exactly the problems described I had after my promotion at that time too. In any case, you now have one more newsletter subscriber!

  2. Theron Decapite

    Beautifully presented, I see exactly these problem areas and will soon familiarize myself with the topic in more detail.

  3. Andreas L.

    On your side you will always find very helpful tips, thanks for that.

  4. Fiona

    Wow, Wow, Wow, very good post.

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