5 Tips for Managing Your Peers

How to Manage Your Peers

Written by Claire Norburn

Professional Career & Leadership Coach and Mentor helping you get the best out of you and your team.

January 12, 2023


The shine of promotion can quickly lose its edge when you realise it involves…

Managing your peers.

It’s not something we talk about very often but it comes up in coaching sessions with leaders stepping up into their next role A LOT!

It’s a big deal because it’s hard.

Not only does the promotion bring new territories and responsibilities that can feel challenging, you also have to deal with the new dynamic of establishing credibility and leadership with a group of people who just yesterday saw you as one of them.

Or, managing those who missed out on the role themselves.

Promotions within a group can flush out mixed emotions. Everything from excitement and support to resentment and anger.

And these emotions can change over time, not always for the better.

A colleague who may have been a ringside cheerleader when you first stepped up, may drop their support when they realise that your relationship needs to change and that as a leader, sometimes you have to make unpopular decisions. 



Managing your peers mixed emotions

Let’s be clear, overcoming the challenges of stepping up in this situation can be hard, and takes time but you can absolutely do it and live to tell the tale and celebrate the results.

Here’s a few tips to set yourself up for success in this situation. 

1. Be clear about your style and expectations

Set your stall out early on.

Outline your objectives, how you want to work with them, how often you’ll meet, how you’d like to communicate, and what you expect from them.

Clarity is always a good thing and helps people decide if they can get on board with the change.

2. Make peace with the competition

If co-workers threw their hat into the ring for the promotion, they’ll likely be disappointed to have lost out to you.

Don’t leave the elephant in the room, have an open and respectful conversation to address any fears and concerns you both have.

Get it all out.

3. Invest in your leadership skills

To be a leader people need to want to follow you.

Recognise that this new stage in your career is a learning journey. Tread lightly with your team as you build your skills, credibility, and authority.

Discuss your leadership development needs with your boss, read, get a mentor, sign up for training, and get a leadership coach.

4. Balance the push/pull

It’s not about going in all guns blazing to show authority, that’s not what good leadership is about.

Too much control and ‘tell’ will only get backs up, fueling resentment, mistrust, and insecurity.

Respect is earned, not commanded.

Coach them. Help them find their own conclusions to the challenges they face.

5. Be confident and humble

Be kind to yourself. Remember, whilst this is difficult, you got this job for a reason, so ditch the guilt.

Get out amongst your team and don’t isolate yourself. They need to feel your presence and you don’t know it all (nor do you need to!).

Their ideas and support will define your success.

It’s worth acknowledging though that all you can control is how you show up for them as the best leader you can be. Ultimately, they may still decide to leave, and whilst that might be disappointing, it’s ok. Sometimes the change can be too much for some or maybe it’s just their natural time to move on.

If you or members of your team are finding a situation like this challenging, drop me a message, and let’s have a conversation about how I can help.

– – – – – – – – – —

Hi, I’m Claire.

🔹Coaching leaders and professionals to get the best out of themselves and their teams at work.

🔹A passionate believer that with the right support, fulfilled employees and a profitable bottom line do not have to be mutually exclusive.

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