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Submitted by O.H. on


Hello all,

I wonder if you could help my with the following situation:
It looks as if I am about to receive a promotion. There are several candidates for the position, and one of them is a co-worker of mine. She is keen on the promotion but after a conversation I have had with the COO last Friday is looks as though she will not get the position.
As we are co-workers, I expect this to bring so problems in the future, should I accept.
I would not only expect her to be disappointed but I wonder how much she will support me in my new role as here manager.
She will be a valuable asset in the team and I would like to start off with her on the right foot.
How can I win her over to work on my team and not let her disappointment about not getting the position effect our relationship?
Nothing negative might actually happen, but in the event it does, I would like to be prepared.
In addition, she will bring along two team members who have not directly reported to her, but she felt as though they did. This has been cause for conflict in the past. Further more, I will bring along three team members from my old team with whom I have a very professional and productive relationship.

Any suggestions or recommendations would be highly appreciated.

Kind regards from Germany


jhack's picture

...and by the way, since nothing is official, you might still end up reporting to her.

So imagine you were reporting to her. What could she do that would help you get over your disappointment? What would help you to put aside your sense that you deserved the promotion?

She will bring along two team members who have not directly reported to her, but she felt as though they did. This has been cause for conflict in the past.

So is that your team: those three plus your three become your six direct reports?

Finally, an MT manager always tries to challenge their directs with higher levels performance and accomplishment. Use coaching and delegation in particular - she would not have been in contention for the job were she not capable. Through your actions she will see that you are giving her responsibilities and challenges.


O.H.'s picture
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Thanks for that John.

If I reported to her, I do not think this would be an issue. I would give it an open minded try and see where we get to together.

You are right about the challenges. I get motivated by being given challenges, but this may not apply to all people.

I think I should let her know how much I need her expertise and knowledge and let her know that she is a valuable asset to the group over all. Not sure what this will be, yet. Just starting this venture tomorrow.

With reference to the team, yes it will be 6 in total. My team has been reduced from 8 to 3 and so has hers. It has not been a good start or the year.

Many thanks for your comments.

Kind regards


jhack's picture


Are you familiar with the DISC model? It is a useful tool for understanding the behavior and motivations of others, and for improving communications with others by addressing them in language they best relate to.


ashdenver's picture

One of the things I said to the Vice President who ultimately offered me the manager job I've been in now for 2 months was that: "This is a horse race and it all depends on which horses are in the race. On any given day, I could be the best horse on the field and win the blue ribbon. On some other day, another horse might edge me out at the very last moment but that doesn't take away from who I am or what I bring to the table."

As this relates to this coworker of yours, a slight shift in perspective might be helpful on her end, if you do get the promotion and she does in fact end up with some hurt feelings.

Additionally, I would approach the situation candidly and directly. As her manager, I would think, it would become your responsibility to help her develop professionally so that she becomes ready to take the next step - so that she's the winning horse no matter who else is on the field. You (hopefully!) managed to be the winner in the race against her so it stands to reason that you have tips and techniques that you could share with her and teach her to make her a stronger contender in the next go-round.

(Good, bad or indifferent, I had a similar conversation with my DR's when I took over. I laid it on the table that I had only been with the company for 5 years (when half of them have been here for 20-35 years) and I'd received three promotions in that time and I considered that to be "fairly fast, especially for this company" and that I was excited to be able to share what I know to help them accelerate their own careers, if they're interested in that sort of thing.)

asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi Olaf

Congrats on your promotion. John and Ash give good advice.

Just because someone is disappointed doesn't mean the person will be a pain in the butt. Part of learning to be a good manager is to be professional. Have you seen behaviours before in this person that show she does not perform professionally when she is disappointed?

Most of us have been rejected for promotions, jobs, relationships etc. It doesn't mean we are going to mess everyone else up. If she got the job, what behaviour would she expect from the other candidates?

While it is good to be proactive, don't look for things that are not really there.

Good luck.