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5 Ways to Go From Co-Worker to Manager

By | Tanner Holm |

Every employee should strive to be better than their co-worker. Period.

Some of the strongest teams comprise staff who have a healthy, competitive mentality. When employees wants to be better, it doesn’t mean they want anyone to fail—they just want to score 100 percent when their co-worker scores 90, an attitude that pushes them to achieve greatness… and grow, ultimately pushing the company to grow.

The race to be better involves hard work—dedication that the executive team will eventually notice, and, in a lot of cases, leads to a promotion. But when running up against a teammate, landing the position can be uncomfortable, especially if your co-worker is also a close friend. Your team can either be happy or jealous, two outcomes that make the transition a unique experience for each employee.

Here are some universal ways to navigate a new management role:

1. Find a mentor. Whether it’s someone in the company, a friend or someone in your network, seek and connect with people who have been in the same situation—and who have pulled it off successfully.

Meet with them before the transition and then weekly during the first phase of your role change. Issues and questions will undoubtedly pop up, so keep meeting once a month for that first year. You’ll want to continue this dialogue of wisdom.

2. Have the hard conversation. Take peers out for drinks or coffee—outside of work—to address the change. It’s okay to ask, “This is a little weird, right?”

Make them feel more comfortable about it by sharing your insecurities. Tell them you want their honest feedback because you’re learning as you go. Good, valuable employees will see this as an opportunity, a chance to grow and develop… and form a close relationship with their new manager.

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