View Full Version : Got a promotion, overwhelmed


ferez21
11-28-15, 02:18 PM
After two years working for this company, i got promoted and i am now a team leader of a team of 8 people.
I find it to be more overwhelming then rewarding since:

1) I now have to manage 8 people who were my colleagues for the last 2 years. Some of them hate me for the promotion, some of them think i can change things that are not up to me, some of them take advantage of the fact we were colleagues.

2) This is an outsourcing company, which means we are giving services for a client and its customers - both the client, and my company have several goals that can contradict in many cases. From my experience for working 2 years in this company for another client, i know some "goals" that my current manager set are simply unobtainable, but of course i can't say anything like that to him.

3) I am new to this role, the department i run is new and started operating 2 weeks ago, and i feel everybody is expecting me for too much.

4) This is a kind of a company that will not hurry to fire an employee, even if he is very unproductive and even if they know he is problematic, which makes many employees lazy and uncaring about anything, and there is nothing i can do about it (for example, one of the employees was fired from 2 different departments in this company, but they hired him back).

5) Since this is a new department in the company, i have no one to mentor me, and my manager is not very experienced in the actual job.

Take all these things and mix it with my ADHD, and you have a hopeless situation.
I sometimes not sure if i can do it, every word i say to a team member he\she takes it personally, and generally speaking the majority of the team is very embittered about the job and don't really care about any of the statistics i have t o keep.

I feel overwhelmed and don't know how to handle a situation with so many harsh parameters involved.

I want to learn and develop, but it feels like i am in the worst situation possible for a junior manager, and i really can't see it progressing into a positive direction.

*sigh*

Delphine
11-28-15, 06:09 PM
I can imagine how uncomfortable this is for you. You have several new challenges, all at the same time. Never easy.

Regarding just one of your challenges....I remember a reshuffle many years ago where former colleagues now had to see me as their boss, and it was very uncomfortable.... so I feel for you on that one.

Very hard to live with, but one day things even out as everyone slowly accepts the new state of affairs.

On point 4.)..... one thing that helped quite a bit was starting a day book.... (I suppose these days, it would be some kind of online equivalent).... where I asked everyone to notice and write in something worthy of praise about a co-worker, that might otherwise go unnoticed by management.
(ie..."Jane spent 10 mins of her lunch hour today dealing with a difficult customer"... )

People like to be noticed and appreciated.... and also, they all quickly realised that if they wrote up something good about a co-worker, then others were more likely to write a little bit of praise about them too.
(No negative comments allowed.)

Congrats on your new position, by the way. I hope the overwhelming part is short-lived. Any new position takes a long time to readjust to, and yours has lots of aspects and no mentor.

KarmanMonkey
12-01-15, 03:07 PM
Sorry to hear you're struggling; sometimes the "good" things can be the most stressful. Let's break this down a little:


1) I now have to manage 8 people who were my colleagues for the last 2 years. Some of them hate me for the promotion, some of them think i can change things that are not up to me, some of them take advantage of the fact we were colleagues.


Unfortunately now that you're their boss, it will create strain on the relationships you had. They have to learn to treat you like their boss (and treat you with respect) just like you have to learn how to treat them like your subbordinates (and treat them with respect)

What I need from my boss more than anything else:
1) I need them to respect my experience and perspective,
2) I need to feel like they have genuinely listened to my concerns, and
3) I need to feel like my boss is working to support me to do my job rather than telling me what to do, unless I'm asking for direction/guidance.

It might be worth reading/watching/learning material about general management techniques. There may even be guides on this with respect to the military, as promotions from enlisted to officer often creates similar tensions.

I also recommend reading "The Art of War" by Sun Tsu, as it does a great job of outlining how to elicit loyalty and productivity when leading.

Ultimately a lot of what will work best comes down to clear communication, respect, and setting healthy boundaries.


2) This is an outsourcing company, which means we are giving services for a client and its customers - both the client, and my company have several goals that can contradict in many cases. From my experience for working 2 years in this company for another client, i know some "goals" that my current manager set are simply unobtainable, but of course i can't say anything like that to him.


You can't tell your bosses or your clients that they're being unreasonable or unrealistic, but you can go to them with questions.

"Hey boss, you've identified goal X, and since this seems to conflict with client goal Y, what would you suggest would be the best way for me to support my team to both meet your goal and still keep the client happy?"

This is effectively the same thing as saying "Hey boss; your suggestion is a pain in the ***!" but in a way that makes him/her feel like their experience and seniority is respected.


3) I am new to this role, the department i run is new and started operating 2 weeks ago, and i feel everybody is expecting me for too much.


They may be expecting the world from you, or they may just as lost and confused as you are right now, and you being the boss, they turn to you for answers. It's okay to tell them that you'll get back to them, or that you don't have answers for them. Keep note of the questions as best you can (ask for them by e-mail if your memory is as bad as mine) and hopefully you'll be able to address some/all of them eventually.

I don't expect my boss to know everything, but I do expect my boss to listen when I need them to, and to feel like I've at least been heard.


4) This is a kind of a company that will not hurry to fire an employee, even if he is very unproductive and even if they know he is problematic, which makes many employees lazy and uncaring about anything, and there is nothing i can do about it (for example, one of the employees was fired from 2 different departments in this company, but they hired him back).


Morale is a tough one (I can't remember what Sun Tsu suggested in this case) It sounds like you CAN fire people, but ideally you can lead without resorting to punishment. Look for ways to encourage your employees, make their work life easier, and otherwise make them dread work a little less.

One advantage of having been a colleague is that you KNOW what life is like in their jobs, and that empathy is a tool both for offering emotional support to your subbordinates and in coming up with little ways (often costing nothing or maybe $2/week) that will motivate them to perform.

One general tip for morale: Praise publicly, criticise (constructively) privately.

If someone does something well, share it with the whole team. Show them that you NOTICE when someone does a good job. At my work we have a "Kudos" board where anyone can write a note about any collegue to thank them for a job well done.

If you have to repremand someone, try to work from the assumption that the person wants to be good at their job, and wants to be happy at their job. If they're doing something wrong, look at what they need to avoid a similar problem in the future, rather than stressing the fallout from the current issue.


5) Since this is a new department in the company, i have no one to mentor me, and my manager is not very experienced in the actual job.


Don't know what to suggest here, except to focus on each issue as it comes up, and do your best to find solutions. If your manager doesn't know either, come up with a plan together, or at least work together to figure out your next steps. If it's collaborative it's more likely that your experience with the front line work can balance with his/her (I'm assuming) management experience.


Take all these things and mix it with my ADHD, and you have a hopeless situation.


Few situations are hopeless. If you truly felt it was hopeless, you might not have posted, right? It's a new role for you, it's a new situation for everyone, so even if other people don't give you time to get aclimated to the role, give YOURSELF permission to take some time to get used to it.


I sometimes not sure if i can do it, every word i say to a team member he\she takes it personally, and generally speaking the majority of the team is very embittered about the job and don't really care about any of the statistics i have t o keep.


Sometimes people just aren't cut out for management positions. That being said, don't assume you're one of those people. If you say something that comes across the wrong way, it's okay to ask the person why they seem to feel that way. With a lot of listening and a little luck, you'll learn to communicate more effectively as a manager.

As for the stats, they won't care about your stats unless it's relevant to them. For example, I know that I need to submit stats for part of my job. The reason I do it is because:

1) It impacts which program gets money, and which one gets cuts,
2) It shows that I'm contributing to the organization, which means job security for me,
3) It helps my boss to know where they need more resources (i.e. if Bob seems to end up doing 3x the work of Joe, I might help to balance their workload), and
4) Without statistics, it's exceedingly difficult to see what we need to work on and what we're doing well, and it's hard to show the client (in my case the government body that funds the hosptital) where their money is going (which also impacts job security: No clients = No job!)


I feel overwhelmed and don't know how to handle a situation with so many harsh parameters involved.


Old riddle: How do you swallow an elephant? The answer: One bite at a time.

You don't need to tackle all the problems today. Pick something, and work on it. Or pick something, break it down into smaller chunks, and deal with one of those.


I want to learn and develop, but it feels like i am in the worst situation possible for a junior manager, and i really can't see it progressing into a positive direction.

*sigh*

Maybe they put you in the worst position because they feel it'll teach you some good skills (like throwing a kid in the pond to teach him to swim) or maybe they think the situation is hopeless so they put you in there expecting for you to fail, or maybe they see something in you that you don't see in yourself, and know that you'll find a way to succeed despite the challenges!

Regardless of the outcome here, you WILL learn and develop.