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Transitioning from colleague to manager - where do you draw the line?

How do you change from a colleague to a manager?

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Something that seems to get asked fairly frequently across our channels is how you make the move from a friend & colleague to being someone's manager - how do you balance informal chats with business protocol?

As ever, interested to hear your thoughts on the topic, as well as any interesting articles you've read on the subject.

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By clive boorman
22nd Aug 2016 12:51

being an in-house coach this is a subject that crops up all of the time. I think the modern idea of what is a friend is something to consider. In a social media context we refer to people we have never met or even seen as friends. So it's easy to think of people at work. who are your peers, as friends. You may really get on with them, may got to lunch together and may even see each other socially. This is being friendly but not necessarily being friends.
One thing I explore is that, in fact, your work peers may not really be your friend. I don't mean that in a spiteful way but in a way to suggest that they aren't going to always stick by you through thick and thin now as a manager. One may have to start developing a friendly but clear distance from the people they manage. It isn't easy and almost every decision a manager makes is going to have people like it or hate it. People they have been friendly with may automatically start feeling different about them just because they are now a manager. This may very much depend on the culture of the company.
All in all, I advocate honesty and communication. I believe in reciprocity as an influencing tool. It's about what can I do for you and what do I expect in return. It's staying friendly but having a slightly different approach but being open to hear what people have to say.

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Shonette new
By Shonette
24th Aug 2016 10:01

From Cathy on Twitter:
"respect, clear communication and re-contracting the relationship up front, agree work priorities and expectations of each other."

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training materials,course delivery
By bryanedwards
28th Sep 2016 11:47

You need to have the discussion with your staff about how things may change to gain their understanding. Taking each one for a coffee and a cake might help facilitate this conversation.

There's no doubt though that if you don't get it right from the start, it's an uphill task later when faced with over friendliness; lower standards and a lack of respect for you.
Bryan - training delivery and off shelf training materials

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