Monday, 18 November 2013

How to Lead a Team and Gain Respect After Internal Promotion

Most of us start at the bottom of the career ladder and work our way up. We become so proficient at our job, earning respect of the management and becoming a valued member of the team. Eventually promotion is offered, usually within the same team and we can find ourselves leader of the team we were once part of. This does have its advantages, however, doesn't come without its problems.

New to Team Leadership
New to Team Leadership

There is nothing that can gain respect more than people knowing that you have been there and done the job for yourself. You know the systems and procedures, what is expected and the problems that your team may encounter. You can see things from their point of view. This can be a great advantage when leading a team. You know when to cut the slack because of genuine difficulties, but you also know an excuse when you hear one.

The problems arise though when some of the team members may have been there much longer than you, may be older with more experience, or may feel that they were the ones that deserved the promotion. You may find it difficult to be assertive and to feel that you are taken seriously as a manager. Since you were once in their position, you will know how hard the job is and may feel guilty for enforcing deadlines.

So how can you gain respect from your team and get them to do what you need them to without them thinking that power has gone to your head?

Firstly, stop beating yourself up and congratulate yourself on your promotion. It is quite normal to feel this way when you have been used to working on the other side of the fence, as it were. The dynamics of your team have now changed so now you need to embrace this change and take control.

In order to gain respect, you have to give it. Show your team that you value them and support them by listening to how you can help them. Listen to any ideas that they may have. Think back to when you were in their position. If you had a problem, how would you have liked your leader to have handled it? Remember that the only way to get what you want is to ask for it. Never assume that anyone in your team knows exactly what is expected of them. When enforcing a deadline, explain to them when it has to be done by and why, then ask how they think they can achieve it, what do they need to make this happen, how can you best help them? Once they know that they have your full support, then they will do whatever they can for you.

Capita Learning & Development offers a training course in New to Team Leadership, which will help you develop and grow your leadership and management skills.

Yvonne Bleakley
Learning Consultant, Capita Learning & Development

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