From the Ask Tom mailbag –
I was just promoted to the supervisory position on a crew I worked with for the past 2 years. Unfortunately, I am having a hard time gaining the trust and respect of my co-workers as well as other supervisors and managers. It seems to be difficult for some to grasp the fact that I have been entrusted with the responsibility for this team. It might be the fact that I have not had a great deal of time in the position, as of yet, so hopefully it may get better with time and my ability to be patient. But if there is any bit of advice and/or support that you may be able to provide, I am all ears.
It is always tough to become a new supervisor, to an existing peer group or a new group. A new supervisor always means change. And most people don’t like change, at least they don’t like the unknown parts of change.
Respect comes, not from the authority of the position, or the experience of the supervisor. Respect comes from bringing value to the work and thinking of the individuals on the team.
Team members always seek out the person in the company that brings value to their decision making and problem solving. If it happens to be their supervisor, that’s great. All too often, it’s not.
Think about it. We all work for two bosses. We work for the boss who is assigned to us, and we work for the boss we seek out. The boss we seek out is the one who brings value to our work, our thinking and our lives.
So, if you are the new supervisor, that’s the boss you need to be.