Are you facing a management or leadership challenge? We hear a lot of them during our management training workshops. Perhaps we can help. Drop us a line, and you may just see the answer to your question here.

Supervising Stinks

Dear Management Expert,

I’ve received a promotion about four months ago. I’m now supervising people I used to work with. Truthfully, I’m having a hard time. They act differently around me, they don’t seem to take me seriously when I tell them what to do, and I don’t think I’m very good at this. I used to like coming to work. I don’t feel that way anymore.

Larry S.

Dear Larry,

You’re not alone. We hear this a lot from people in situations similar to yours. We have a few ideas that should help you navigate your new world and once again look forward to going to work. 

  1. First, don’t be so hard on yourself. It probably took you several years to get good at your old job. There’s a learning curve for every new role. This one just happens to be steep.
  2. Second, recognize management can be lonely. Your job isn’t to be liked, it’s to lead and be respected. This doesn’t mean you have to be a mean person. However, you are going to need to set some boundaries and hold people accountable.
  3. Third, the people you supervise have wants, aspirations, and goals of some sort. If you can help them get there, you should eventually get what you want to.
  4. Fourth, you need to get yourself some training. We recommend you start with The One Minute Manager. It covers many of the fundamentals you need to understand and will take you about an hour or so to read.
  5. Fifth, once you’ve gotten through the book, you need to come up with a plan and follow it. Hold regular one-on-one meetings with your team, take advantage of staff meetings, recognize what people do well and praise them, and address problems as you see them.

While experience is a wonderful teacher, the more you can educate yourself, the more effective you should be. You might also see if there is someone in your workplace who can serve as a mentor. Once you put all those components in motion, you will probably start looking forward to work again. Somebody obviously thought you’d be great at managing people, or you wouldn’t have the job you have. Keep us updated on your progress.