Getting promoted from a team member to a team leader is always exciting and something to be proud of. However, the transition can sometimes be challenging and overwhelming. You might start to lose the sense of closeness you once felt with other team members and maybe even feel a bit isolated. Being a leader can be lonely, but it does not have to be. Good leaders know how to keep themselves immersed with their team while also making executive decisions. The transition will be a learning experience, but it can be facilitated smoothly. Below we will discuss some of the different ways to ease your transition from team member to team leader, as featured in an article on IAEE.
Provide opportunities for mentorship and training.
According to the article linked above, statistics show that 83% of businesses stress the importance of developing solid leaders; however, only about 7% of those companies have put in place programs for leadership development at every level. An employee’s potential is maximized when training and mentorship programs help guide them through their career choices. There are many different ways to do this as a leader. The first thing you can do is share your expertise by providing leadership books or pairing employees with a mentor. You should also be available to give consistent and frequent feedback, so employees are constantly aware of their strengths and what needs to be changed. Additionally, offer training programs such as onboarding and other sessions to adequately bring employees up to speed.
Be open to talking it out.
Transitioning from a team member to team leader often results in changes in interactions between you and your previous peers. It is essential to continue to prioritize building trust with your team. You can do this by communicating honestly and effectively, being completely open with your team, and taking your time to phase in as the new leader instead of forcing it upon people right away.
Help your team to see the advantages of the transition.
It is crucial for your team to see you becoming the new leader as a valuable investment. When team members are not trusting of their boss, it can lead to demotivation and ineffective work. You can also show your team that you have a built-in understanding as you are coming from a position just like theirs and know what they are going through.