It’s possibly the most puzzling and challenging decision you may have faced in a long time. How do you cope with a situation where a colleague has been promoted to be your boss? You might have put your name in the frame, yet, on this occasion, it didn’t work out. So what can you do to ensure the working relationship between you and your new boss starts off and continues in the right way?
Firstly, ask yourself, ‘what kind of working relationship do I want and need with my new boss?’ This proves you are acting proactively and want to establish a good foundation for working together in the future. Remember that, if you worked together well in the past, there is no reason why that shouldn’t continue…you just need to decide what kind of tasks you can complete now things have changed.
Then, discuss with your boss what you can do to make them appreciate your help. Their role will be different now, and it would be unwise to try to prove to higher management that they made the wrong decision in promoting your colleague. Higher management may well be watching your reaction to your colleague’s promotion, to see if you are also promotion material too. So if you approach the situation with an attitude of helpfulness to your new boss, you’ll be seen as promotion material in the future.
Discuss with your new boss where he or she sees you in the next five years or so. This gives you an accurate picture of how they perceive your contribution within the team and helps you identify the things you need to focus on in order to be in the frame next time.
Although you might see your new boss in a different light now, assisting them to be successful in their new role can only help your future prospects. Learn from their skills and you may see further opportunities open up for you.
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.