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Promotions Friends Self-Insight

I was just promoted over several of my friends, and now they hardly talk to me. I thought they would be happy for me, but I was sure wrong about that. I wonder why I even tried for this promotion. What should I do?

Unfortunately, there are many people who sense that a step forward for their friends is a step backward for themselves. The good news is these feelings subside in time.

You are in the middle of what can be called promotion commotion. There are all sorts of initial stresses, strains, and pains for those who are promoted, as well as for those who are not. Resistance from former co-workers is a common part of the process.

People in your position often fall into the trap of missing the good old days, and some consider giving up the promotion and returning to the pack. They rationalize that they do not have what it takes to be in supervision.

Someone in your company believes that you have the wherewithal to make it as a leader, and it is important to recognize that you may not be able to make an accurate assessment for yourself until several months have passed. Don't be tempted to make this assessment in the first few days...or hours...or minutes.

Looking at your situation a little differently, would you rather be promoted over co-workers who are your friends or your enemies? Although there are some advantages in being promoted over friends, it is important to accept the fact that your friendship with your former co-workers has permanently changed. You can still be a friendly leader, but if you try to be a buddy as well as a supervisor, you will fail at both.

This is also a good time to honestly answer one question: has the promotion gone to your head? If it has, you may as well be promoted over your enemies, because that is just what they will become.

The best thing to do now is keep the lines of communication open with the troops and let them see the qualities they valued in you as a friend -- your openness, fairness, responsiveness, and concern for them. Many of the traits that made you a good friend are the same ones that can help make you a good leader.

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