With a promotion comes more responsibility and relationship changes - are you ready to get off on the right foot?

Finally, after months or even years of hard work, it’s finally happened- you got promoted. While a promotion can be very exciting (pay raise, anyone?), it can also be rather daunting. With a change in position comes a change in responsibility that will ultimately affect both your relationships and your work. So, how can you be sure that you get off on the right foot? This video explores the intricacies of managing your new role and the steps you need to take to ensure long-term success.

Your first few months (roughly the first hundred days or so) will ultimately shape how your direct reports see you and will set the tone of your leadership style in the long run. In those first 100 days, there are a few key goals that you need to accomplish to ensure smooth sailing from there on out.

  • First, you need to establish your credibility as a boss and as a leader. Just because you got promoted doesn’t mean it’s time to slack off and celebrate. This is the time to prove that you were promoted for a reason, and to show your team why you’ll be the best possible leader.
  • Second, you need to set clear mutual expectations with your team. Consider which projects you’re overseeing and how you plan to get them done in a timely, cost-effective manner. Think about which teammates you’ll need to utilize for each part of said project, and try to set clear goals and expectations with them. On a broader scale, this is a good time to set expectations about your new role and what that will look like. Think about how your relationship with your teammates needs to change and make sure you’re setting clear boundaries and expectations on both sides to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Third, make open communication a priority. Make sure that you’re constantly giving and receiving feedback throughout this transition. It’s much better to get things out in the open rather than letting small annoyances boil over into larger issues. This is also great if anyone on your team shy’s away from confrontation, because by constantly giving and taking feedback, you can avoid some serious confrontations down the line.
  • Lastly, deal with relationship issues head on, and deal with them early. There may be some hostility, some jealousy, or some overly-friendly behavior that can undermine your authority and your team’s ability to be productive. For example – if you and Jim have been good friends for 5 years, and suddenly you’re Jim’s boss, there are two potentially dangerous scenarios. One is that Jim feels too comfortable with you and doesn’t take your new role as an authority seriously, and the other is that Jim feels hostile and jealous because he feels that he is more deserving of the promotion. Be sure to address these issues early on to avoid letting them become toxic.

One of the most crucial first steps that you can and should take upon securing a new leadership role is to schedule initial one-on-one meetings with each of your team members. Be proactive about this, as it will help to signal that a transition is happening and help to establish you as an authority figure. This initial meeting will ultimately set the tone for your working relationship with each team member, so set yourself up to get that meeting right. Think through what you want to discuss in the meeting, what you’re looking to accomplish, and take the time to think through and develop a plan for it.

When thinking about these initial meetings, consider your approach. Don’t come in like a tank, commandeering the conversation and implementing a million changes up front. Give the situation the delicate touch that it requires. Ultimately, you need the willing commitment of your team members if you’re going to be successful, so make it a conscious effort to ask questions and get their opinion. Bear in mind that depending on the nature of your relationship with each person, each meeting is going to go differently. Be sure to cover crucial topics such as your new responsibilities and the team member’s, any relationship change that needs to occur, how to keep things professional, and coming to an agreement about how you two will work together moving forward. Either the person was a friend or the opposite, setting clear boundaries and expectations up front will help you manage the working relationship in the long term.

In these one-on-one meetings, there are four main goals that you want to accomplish.

  • First, you want to review and agree on responsibilities of all team members, including yourself. This is crucial for keeping people accountable as your relationships and projects progress.
  • Second, you should help your teammates prioritize by identifying key responsibilities of each team member, again helping people have a clear vision of what is expected of them.
  • Third, you want to set goals, both individually and at the team level. This gives your team something to work towards, and helps keep everyone actively productive.
  • Lastly, you want to get agreement about what each associate needs from you in order to complete the goals set forth for them. Contract how you two will work together to achieve each goal, and make sure that you’re able to provide the support that they need.

Remember- your new promotion is more than just a title change. With it comes more responsibility, new social dynamics, and new issues to work through. By addressing these issues proactively, you’ll set both yourself and your team up for long term success. Watch this video now for all the tips and tricks you need to ensure success in your new transition!