• Lauren Collison

From Co-Worker to Boss?

Many first-time managers find numerous challenges in making the switch from co-worker to the boss (a.k.a. manager). Whether the coworkers are your friends or just individuals that you didn’t quite seem to get along with, it can certainly be a transition for everyone.


Fortunately, for you there is a solution – training. Yes, formal training can always be a huge help!

SHRM.org suggests a few strategies that may help make the transition from co-worker to boss a little less complex.


Developing a leader’s mindset. Get involved in training that offers transitional training for first-time managers. Discover ways to gain a foundational understanding of leadership essentials. This focuses on perspective, confidence and the wisdom of a leader.

Managing former co-workers. “To foster trust and communication among team members and help them adjust to the new power dynamic, it's important for new managers to stay authentic to who they are” (SHRM). Prepare managers for situations that may become difficult and uncomfortable with their former colleagues. Preparing at least gives them the upper hand when handling a situation that may be unwanted.


Identifying and bridging the skills gap. Going from co-worker to boss doesn’t always have to be something you need to necessarily worry about. In many cases, former co-workers know that your new position can help other leaders understand certain aspects of positions that they don’t see on a day to day basis. There may be skills that need to be realigned and positions added to help build a strong team for a successful business.


Let’s face it, manager training is phenomenal. Yes, it really is. Focusing on being proactive and building trust, respect and relationships can help any and all organizations strive for strong business culture and lower turnover.

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