May 26

MANAGEMENT MINUTE: Supervise former peers effectively

supervise-former-peersSo you’ve just gotten the promotion you were after and now you find yourself managing people who used to be your peers. How can you take on this new role successfully?

Switching gears isn’t easy. Here’s some advice from Erin White’s article titled How New Managers Supervise Their Former Peers about the extremes you want to avoid and how to sidestep them:

Scenario 1: One of the gang. The first extreme many new managers take when they find themselves managing former peers is to stick with their friendly relationship. These managers keep up close ties and often don’t draw the line between supervisor and employee. In this case, it’s difficult for the new manager to exert her authority, according to White.

What to do instead: It’s more effective to listen to an employee’s personal problems and offer company avenues for help, such as employee assistance, rather than dishing up your own advice, which may step beyond the manager-employee boundary.

Scenario 2: Laying down the law. The opposite extreme is to overcompensate for a new promotion by immediately exerting your authority over former peers. Some new managers might be overly critical or scold employees in front of their peers to leave a dominant impression.

What to do instead: You should confront an employee who used to be your peer about a business issue in private. You should also take a firm stance. Acknowledge that what you need to discuss is separate from your friendly relationship with the employee, says White. Keep your tone of voice low but firm. Most employees will respond well.

Scenario 3: Avoiding confrontation. Another mistake some first-time managers make is to avoid coaching employees who used to be their peers. If the employee makes an error, the manager fixes it himself without mentioning it to the employee.

What to do instead: What many managers don’t realize is that they’re also keeping employees from developing professionally. Offer additional training or coaching to the employee without being too harsh. You might also want to sprinkle in some positive feedback with your criticism.

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Jan 27

MANAGEMENT MINUTE: Get ahead of the rest with effective risk taking

effective-risk-takingFor many of us in the workforce, taking risks may mean the difference between being supervised or being supervisor. Knowing how to assess whether taking a risk can be beneficial for you is easy as long as you go about it in the right way.

Take the advice of Scott Greenburg to advance to that next promotion:


  • Don’t think too much. If you think too much about taking a risk, you’ll psyche yourself into not doing it. You have to act on your thoughts when you feel that the risk is worth taking. If you want to sign up for that promotion, then do it before you start to second guess yourself.
  • Go big or go home. If you’re going to take a risk, why not take a huge one! Don’t let small dreams hinder your future. Think of the biggest goal you have, and go for it.
  • Embrace failure. Going out on a limb for anything generates fear. Don’t let that fear get you down. Stay positive, but be realistic in knowing that with every risk there comes a chance of failure or rejection. Be prepared to fail more than once, but never give up.
  • Focus on the facts. Many people like to focus on their feelings when they are heading into the unknown. Don’t let your feelings stop you from moving forward in your risk-taking behavior. If you want an upper-level management position, then focus on your qualifications. Never focus on your feelings of being fearful to apply.
  • Don’t judge yourself. We are our worst critics, so give yourself room to grow. Don’t let others’ judgments of you affect your goal either. You should write down some positive affirmations about yourself. Let these statements guide you and not the criticism of the others.

Remember to use common sense when taking on a business risk. Focusing on the facts is a major area in which people sometimes overlook.

It’s perfectly fine to be worried about taking a risk when all your ducks are in place. When they aren’t, however, it’s best that you prepare before taking that giant leap.

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