It is a research-proven fact that the transition from individual contributor to a supervisor is a pain point for both employees and organizations. The skills required for the two roles are often vastly different. One of the hardest things for new supervisors to navigate is the different relationships they must have with their former peers. Here are some strategies that can help in navigating this transition effectively:
Communicate through the adjustment: Be upfront with your former peers about the change in your role and the expectations that come with it. Let them know that while your responsibilities have elevated into oversight, you still value their input and will strive to maintain open communication. They must also understand that some information to which you’re privy is sensitive and confidential–and that you would appreciate their understanding that you cannot share everything.
Manage the messages professionally: Just because you’re in a new role doesn’t mean your beliefs fundamentally change. You can still disagree with some of the policies that have and will come down from leadership. While you cannot gripe, complain and point fingers (like maybe you once did!), you can mix professionalism and vulnerability. For instance, you can disclose that you find a new policy challenging or difficult to execute while simultaneously communicating the fact that everybody must follow it.
Offer support and resources: As a supervisor, you have the opportunity—and responsibility–to support your former peers by providing guidance, resources, and professional development opportunities for them. Help them navigate the organizational hierarchy and make them aware of things that may affect their success.
Lead by example: For better or worse, people remember everything the person in charge says, if only because their subconscious minds are vigilantly looking for potential inconsistencies, obstacles and changes that could make their lives more difficult. That’s why it’s important to model the behaviors you expect from your direct reports. When you don’t, they have no impetus to meet them.
Whether you are a new manager or have years of experience as a supervisor, managing relationships is always an excellent skill to both acquire and hone. You can learn more about this topic and other cannabis leadership skills by attending one of our Fundamentals of Supervision training sessions. Just click here to see when our next live session is scheduled.
Guest Blog by John Mancuso