How To Go from Co-Worker to Supervisor

Being promoted can be overwhelming. Suddenly, you are challenged to assume an important post. Aside from that, you are tasked to look after you co-workers. You are now in-charge of handling things. You are no longer one of the guys. How do you manage to deal with your work buddies? How do you earn their cooperation and respect with being too imposing and upfront? Here are some guidelines on how you can capably go from co-worker to supervisor:

  1. There is no need to be bossy. Don't take your promotion literally. Don't dictate things just because you want them to be accomplished accordingly. Deal with your co-workers similarly as you did before. Don't forget about your friendship. You don't need to impose. You promotion is enough confirmation that you worked harder than anyone did so they know that you deserve it.
  2. Your rapport with your co-worker can bring a lot of help. Use your friendship to your advantage. Since you are familiar with them, you can readily find ways on how to win the support and cooperation. You don't need to watch everything. Show that you trust them. Assure them that they can always talk to you directly if something turns out problematic. Otherwise, make them feel that you are confident about their skills. Say this with utmost sincerity.
  3. Let your co-worker realize that they can still help you. Your promotion should not change your demeanor. You should not act as if you don't need any favor from anybody. Your promotion doesn't turn you into a superman. You may talk with your co-workers and share about your plans. You need to let them see how their contribution can guarantee the success of your plan. But be careful here. When you speak with them, check your pronouns. It is better to say "our project" than "my project".
  4. Think about your former supervisor. Try to look back. When you were still one of the guys, what was your main complaint about your former supervisor? Why was it difficult to deal with him? Now that you are in his shoes, don't turn out just like him. If you do so, you are giving your co-workers the reason to be unsupportive.
  5. Find time to listen to your co-workers. Meet them individually. Ask for some suggestions on how your working relationship can be enhanced. Encourage them to share inputs, particularly on how they can efficiently accomplish their tasks. It works better if you get to show them that you are willing to adjust or level with them and not the other way around. That can magically favor you in the long run. You also get to set across the message that your respect for them remained high.

Be more tactful. Your promotion doesn't give you the reason to step on anybody's toes. You should know their sensitivity, particularly when you deal matters about work. When you say things with prudence, you avoid offending them. Indirectly, you also win their admiration, support, and respect. That's hitting two birds with one stone.


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