I have a team of six and I was recently promoted into team lead with the understanding I'm being transitioned into manager - our company has had some big changes lately and this was unexpected for everyone (the timing, at least).  One member of my team is actively looking for new work, acts as though she has checked out already, and won't even address me in the staff meetings I lead-she answers my questions by looking at the manager and talking to him.  She has complained to management about not being asked for my position.  Another member of my team told me in a heart to heart that he likes me but doesn't want to work for me. I am young-he has been here longer and is older than me and I understand his feelings and where they are coming from.  I am feeling a little bit lost in how to get my team moving forward.  I have started using feedback -mostly positive- but am not in a place yet to really implement one-on-ones and coaching.  My manager is a great mentor in general but I am hoping for some advice here.  I am completely new to this and am trying my best to remain confident and do good work so that my team will support me and trust me.  Is there anything else I can do?

delete_account_per_reacher_145083_dtiller's picture
Training Badge

I say you need to go back to the MT Basics and start with O3s.  I don't see how you can give feedback without building the relationships you need to give feedback.  Performing the O3s starts building on relationships.  Start over and don't rush.

Best of luck!


adacosta83's picture

I was in the same place as you are now.  I can tell you this will get better but it will take effort.  I believe you'll find the answers within the MT podcasts.  A few suggestions:

1.)  what you are asking for is creating a better relationship with your directs.  You can achieve that by communicating with your directs on a regular schedule.  Listen to Manager Tools podcast titled 'one on ones part 1' published July 2005.  LIke Dtiller says above start O3, it's the best move any manager can do and not enough managers are doing it.  It'll feel odd at first but that will quickly go away and it will be a pillar to your success. 

2.) Something else to consider.  Your directs who ignore you or flat out tell you they don't want to work for you, is simply being rude, unkind, unprofessional and is damaging team moral.  Those types of behaviours are also disrespectful to the manager and your organization who made the decision to promote you.  You nor I would ever dare of talking or treating our new boss the same way.  The good news is you have role power despite your few directs trying their best to dismiss your authority.  Because of your 'boss' authority you do have the power to stop that behaviour through feedback.  Listen to 'giving effective feedback' podcast from 2005.  Honeslty if that individual doesn't stop ignoring you in team meetings after two verbal feedback moments from you, I would put that individual on a pathway to receive discipline.  How can that individual expect to be hired outside the organization, or even promoted within, when they do hurtful behaviours like ignore their new boss?

It took me about a year to get comfortable in my new role but the resources on this website and support from my boss  were critical in that transition.  Be prepared and focus on the long term gains.  You can do this.

Let us know how it goes. 



mrreliable's picture

""I am completely new to this and am trying my best to remain confident and do good work so that my team will support me and trust me.  Is there anything else I can do?"

Your team will not support you and trust you unless they respect you.

There is a podcast on assertiveness. It's not the same as aggressiveness. You mentioned you're trying your best to remain confident. It sounds from your description that you're projecting a timid attitude. If you're on the verge of lacking confidence you can get eaten alive.

Reading between the lines it looks like you're questioning yourself. If you actually are in a position of authority over these people, they need to know you expect their cooperation, and there must be consequences for their failure to do so. If you're not really in a position of authority, you can't expect them to follow you. Unfortunately, sometimes executives will give an employee a title that is little more than a good-conduct medal, and it creates confusion among everyone with regard to the power shift.

I'd suggest having a talk with your manager. He or she will understand your problem. You need to know for certain how much authority you have and how much support you have in dealing with these issues. If an employee came to me and said, "I like you but I don't want to work for you," I'd say, "That's too bad. Good luck at your new job, whatever that may be." If management is ready to back you up, you can take assertive steps to stop the disrespectful behavior. If they're more wishy-washy, like "Oh, that's just Suzie, don't take it personally," you don't have much choice other than to be a good listener, try to communicate effectively and hope that management position comes along before too long.