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Published on: Challenge

I Was Finally Promoted !

I was Finally Promoted !

Overcoming the Hurdles of a New Position

« To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart »Eleanor Roosevelt

Victoire went home, her eyes sparkling with happiness, a wide smile lighting up her face. Her stride reflected a newly acquired confidence as she opened the front door with energy, and with excitement and pride she announced the news to her family: she had just been promoted!!

Her new position demonstrated the trust her bosses had in her: she was given more responsibilities, she would lead a larger team than before, and would now have to interact directly with the top management of her organization.

Let’s follow Victoire during the first few weeks in her new position. Very quickly she realizes she must manage a larger scope of work, with potentially higher stakes. Her promotion comes with increased expectations, and she feels pushed to quickly prove her worth and demonstrate that the promotion was deserved. This new position involves a role much more oriented towards management and sidelining her specialized knowledge, as her new team has actually more technical knowledge than she does.

That’s when she begins to doubt. She feels that some of her new collaborators are testing her knowledge. To show them that she knows what she is talking about, she performs the tasks she knows well. Indeed, it’s easier than having to explain how to do it; she is very quick at these operations. Except that it puts her behind on reports that her superiors ask for. She then works later in the evening, gets up earlier, sacrificing her work/life balance. She is seen late at night finishing a presentation, which she will struggle to give the next day after a short night.

In addition to a case of imposter syndrome, fatigue sets in, the fear of not making it, a level of stress she has never known, even a risk of burnout.

We have just seen very schematically the inherent risks of taking on a new position. Fortunately, most managers do rather well, but the adaptation process is often long. It can take months, even years, for them to reach a similar level of performance to what they had before promotion, and there are failures.

4 mistakes not to make

Let’s look below at some mistakes to avoid and some of the skills that newly promoted managers need to develop:

Mistake No. 1. Not delegating enough.

There is no need to prove one’s skills by taking on too many tasks: the promotion itself is a tacit recognition of these skills. However, not delegating sufficiently leads to professional exhaustion and a decrease in team productivity.

Mistake nº2. Micromanaging

It is natural for a manager taking on a new position to doubt themselves, their managerial talents, and the capabilities of their team. He or she may then tend to supervise and tightly control the work and decision-making of their subordinates

Mistake 3. Not investing enough in relationships

An effective leader must maintain a good balance between tasks and building relationships with team members, peers, and senior executives. Not investing enough in these relationships can lead to a lack of support and collaboration.

Mistake 4. Not seeking support or coaching

Trying to adapt to one’s new role without asking for help from coaches, mentors, or colleagues can lead to isolation and increased stress. Although it is quite logical to seek support, there is too much tendency to want to manage alone.

How to give yourself the means to succeed

We present below some key skills essential to the manager integrating a new position synonymous with professional development. It should be noted that even if some of these skills have already been developed and mastered, facing new challenges requires a reassessment and deepening of abilities.

Skill nº1. Leadership and team management

The ability to effectively lead and manage a team is paramount. This involves motivating team members, appropriately delegating tasks, resolving conflicts, and fostering a positive work environment that encourages growth and productivity.

Skill nº2. Assertive communication – decision making

Effective communication is essential. It involves not only transmitting messages clearly and persuasively but above all knowing how to listen actively. Any decision-making must necessarily go through a phase of listening to team members, who were most often in place before the arrival of the newly promoted manager.

Skill nº3. Adaptability and change management

The ability to adapt to changing environments and effectively manage transitions is essential, especially for high-level positions. This involves being open to new ideas, flexible in response to feedback and changes, and capable of leading others through transformations within the organization.

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