Eight hours a day, five days a week, you share workspace with your co-workers and peers. During the work week, you discover their habits and quirks, and they discover yours. You go to lunch together. You celebrate birthdays and company milestones. You discuss office politics and swap stories about your boss. You develop routines and adjust to the customs and dynamics of the team. And, you learn to like – or dislike – your co-workers, depending on their personality and yours. Either way, you all learn to work together. But, what happens when the dynamics change and your office comrade – or worse, your office enemy – becomes your boss?
When a peer or co-worker is promoted above you, the adjustment can be difficult, no matter how amiable your rapport has been. Following these tips could make the transition smoother for yourself, your new boss, and your entire team.
Be Respectful. Choosing to respect your superiors and co-workers alike is always a good idea. It may not always be the easiest task – especially if you’ve seen them at their worst, like during an out-of-hand office Christmas party. But, showing respect to everyone you encounter is well worth it. When you demonstrate respect, they’ll often give you the same respect in return. And, respecting your co-workers from the start will help prevent any awkwardness should one of them become your boss in the future. Even if you feel a new boss doesn’t deserve your respect, their new position demands it. So, demonstrate your respect by being conscious of your speech, habits, and attitude when you’re at the water cooler or break room, during meetings, in the cube, and throughout the day.
Be Patient. Remember that your newly appointed boss is new to their job, so cut them some slack. Even the most experienced managers and executives make mistakes. Just like you, they’re only human, and errors and oversights will happen. So, be patient while they’re figuring things out.
Your manager may feel the need to institute some professional distance from peers once they’ve been promoted. Follow their lead and allow the relationship’s dynamic to evolve. Understand that your new boss may need to establish some clout and influence with the team in the beginning. Patience is a virtue and an asset your supervisors value, so don’t sweat the office politics, changes, and adjustments. Instead, take it in stride.
Feel like you’re losing your patience? Check out these tips to regain your serenity at work.
Be Flexible. Employers want and need flexible employees because life and work often require it. Be a flexible employee who’s willing to take on tasks and projects even when they don’t fall within your job description or title. You may not be accustomed to taking orders from your co-worker-turned-captain, but be a team player and go with the flow when plans change.
When problems arise, help be the solution instead of just another roadblock. Being a flexible employee will make your boss’ job easier, which can make your job easier too! With so many work-life headaches to handle, being a helpful and flexible employee your employer can trust will help you standout from the rest.
When work relationships change, the transition can be difficult for the team. But, by being a respectful, patient, and flexible employee, you can help calm rough waters and get noticed as a valuable employee your company and your new boss can’t do without.