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Mastering The Transition Of Becoming A Manager Of Your Former Coworkers

You and your coworkers used to gripe about your inept boss together and plan elaborate lunches out. Then you got promoted.

Now you’re managing many of those same people and navigating the tense-shouldered transition from peer to boss. It’s a common situation, says Shawn Kent Hayashi, a team consultant and coach—and it’s possible to make it work for everyone. Here, Hayashi and other experts offer seven tips for leading your former coworkers.

1. Acknowledge That The Team Is Changing.

According to Beth Bechky, who teaches courses in managing high-performance teams at New York University’s Stern School of Business, it’s easy for a team to assume that if the members of a team are still the same, nothing has actually changed. But now that you’re in a new position, even though you’re working with the same people, “that’s a moment at which everyone needs to reflect on what they’re doing,” Bechky says. She recommends meeting with employees individually and asking them each a simple question: “What do you think we should be doing?”

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