The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

When your peer becomes your boss (and vice-versa)…

As a business and success coach, I help people manage their career development. There will be times when someone is promoted from within their team or department.  At these times, it may some initial strain when a fellow peer is now your boss (or visa-versa).  I find that appreciation in the workplace goes a long way in eliminating the awkwardness of these dynamics.

Teams work because of the diversity and skill set of each individual in the group. Whichever received the promotion, they received it because of the previous team dynamics. Therefore, everyone member of that team was somewhat responsible for that person’s promotion. The team will continue to succeed as long as they see themselves as a team.

With that in mind, consider these tips:

 Your peer becomes your boss:

1) Show appreciation for the individual talent and skill that got them promoted. AND acknowledge your strengths and your part in this promotion.

2) Congratulate them on their promotion and assure them that you will continue to support the team as you have been.

3) Share with them your understanding that they are now in a position to network and meet with a higher level of managers and an expanded level of projects. With this in mind, outline your strengths and your career goals to your new boss. Your new boss has seen you in action (which is a positive), but possibly do not know your individual career and development plans. Share these with your new manager, so that they can continue to forward opportunities that match your desires as well as abilities.

You become the boss to your peers.

1) Show appreciation for their individual talent and skills. AND acknowledge that they were a large part of your promotion.

2) Ask for their help and support to continue to have the strongest team in their division.

3) Clarify your vision and mission for the team and ask for their ideas on how to accomplish these goals. Be clear in your direction, but continue to work as a team to accomplish the goals.

4) Share that this new opportunity for you also means new opportunities for them. Because of this promotion, you have access to departments and contacts that you didn’t have before. Convey that your goal is to appropriately share these contacts and opportunities with them. Invite them to share their career aspirations and goals — so that you can introduce and connect them with projects and teams that will get them to their goals.

As a success coach, I find this type of mindset deflects any awkwardness that people may anticipate.

If you need some one-on-one consult, please consider taking advantage of your free introductory coaching session.


About the Author

Laura is a Corporate Exit Strategist for the Blooming Entrepreneur. She is a certified business and personal life coach, specializing in time management skills, project management training and work/life balance strategies. She has been in the software and testing industry for over 20 years. She’s worked with such companies as IBM, Ericsson, Staples, Fidelity Investments and Sogeti in various client advocacy and project management roles. The techniques she uses in her business coaching and client advocacy work saved these companies both time and money, which resulted in on-time, quality product delivery with higher client satisfaction. Laura now uses her client focus, project, quality and people management skills in her personal life coaching career. As a personal life coach, she helps people transform their life by integrating their goals and dreams into their everyday lives. Laura uses creative and practical tools to help her clients realize what really matters to them. She helps others to easily transition into their next chapter whether it’s the next ladder of success within their corporate environment or into the entrepreneurial playground. I am not a fan of choosing to act in spite of fear. Rather, together we will collaborate toward a plan of inspired action. We will develop a plan together that you feel confident and excited about. For us, Taking The Leap will be magical, exhilarating and natural. If you are eager to take that next logical step but are unsure what it is signup for the Corporate Exit Strategy Coaching group. We have books, tapes, training materials, twice-monthly group coaching events, 3-day workshops, and individual coaching sessions to help you on your way toward your freedom and prosperity.
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