Are you a THEY?

Are you a THEY? —and I’m not talking about gender…..  I am talking about the first time you step into a managerial/supervisory/leadership role. 

It seems to happen overnight, you go from colleague to boss.  You may not notice it right away; some people will be more obvious than others.  You stop by a former colleague’s office or workspace and the conversation stops when you enter the room.  Or you are at a new department or location and when you start to try and build relationships you can sense that everyone is guarded.  You wonder what is going on.  You are still the same person but now you are being treated as if you are somehow different.  What you come to realize is that you are no longer one of gang–  you are now a THEY.

Some people make this transition easy than others.  Some people are never able to recover from this transition.  This article will share with you some ways to help you adjust.

  1. Don’t be fooled, it won’t be different for you.  It is better to accept this transition up front than to believe that somehow you will be exempt from this phenomenon.  The first step to positive change is acknowledgement.
  2. Be careful with your words.  Even the most innocent comment by you can be devastating.  Before you may have been able to engage in friendly banter with your colleagues, now you are in charge and a THEY. 
  3. Your jokes aren’t really funny.  Before your friends would be honest about your corny jokes.  Now, everyone will laugh because they don’t want to offend the boss. 
  4. Every idea you have is not brilliant.  You will need to build relationships with people that will tell you the truth. 
  5. It can be lonely.  It is important that you build a network of fellow THEYs.  More than ever, you will need to have relationships outside of your department/office/team. 
  6. You may feel like an outsider for a while. 
  7. There is no normal anymore.  As a THEY every day will be different. 

No matter where you are on your leadership journey, you will forever be a THEY.

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