From One-of-them to Supervisor

Many times a promotion is bitter sweet.  Especially, when you are on a team and then promoted to being the supervisor of that very team.  You are elated that your hard work has paid off and excited to be named a leader but others on the team thought they were just as deserving as you.  You can see a caution light flashing in your future.

How do you make the best possible transition from team member to supervisor? What needs to happen to ensure success?

Ask leadership to stage a transition meeting with you and the team to prepare for the change.  In the meeting best practices for how a team can work well together are explored, explained and all participants write out and share what they plan to do to ensure the team can work successfully.  Each person speaks only in “I” statements.
Work on building a plan for how you will gauge progress and measure success for the team; ask for input and ideas from each member.
Meet one-on-one with each team member to tell them what they can count on from you and invite them to share any concerns or suggestions they have.  Prepare yourself for this meeting and practice being a non-defensive listener.  If you receive unkind or hard to hear information, ask tough questions like “how can we get past obstacles”.  When the team member claims they can’t get past or around challenges, suggest they think about it for a few days and you will follow up with them.  Ask them to Google for ideas and suggestions and bring you what they find.

When people say hurtful things to you, ask them not to.  When others on the team share things they have been told or have heard about you, ask them not to share anything others say about you.

  • Establish a boundary that you only deal face-to-face with anyone that wants to share their opinion of you.
  • Keep the focus on the facts and self-check often how things are going.
  • Give people who are having a hard time with the transition some time, then check back in with them.
  • Find peers you highly respect and ask for direction and suggestions on how to make the transition from a team member to becoming a supervisor.
  • Hang tough with a smile on your face and an open door. Establish boundaries; don’t let anyone grab a fire extinguisher and douse your fire and passion about your new position.

If you feel you could use some formal training in your new role as a supervisor, you need to join a Supervisor Boot Camp.

Still learning,