The Business Coach with Laura Murphy: promotion caused anger

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Question: “There was fierce competition for a promotion which I won but now my colleagues have turned against me. What can I do?” Paul

Answer: “Congratulations on getting the promotion. You were clearly the best candidate for the job.

And that’s the issue: the others have to cope with their disappointment and realisation that actually they weren’t as good as they thought they were.

Or they were relying on the pay rise to help their financial situation, or they wanted the prestige of being able to be the boss, or they feel they were discriminated against, or something else.

The reality is that there could be a host of reasons why they have turned against you and you are not responsible for any of them. They are the ones who have to manage their feelings and their behaviours.

I suspect this will be a short-term response.

Remember that your employers thought you the best person for the job.

They believe in your abilities to get that job done so get on with it. You should be providing them with a model of positive behaviour which demonstrates confidence and leadership so that their disappointments diminish and they get used to the new hierarchy.

Should it not be a short-term response and their attitudes towards you begin to significantly hamper the task in hand then you need to manage the situation more pro-actively.

You may want some support in planning this but decide now how long you want to give them either in relation to time or some other measure.

Start listing the individual behaviours and impact this has on their performance. Then when your deadline has been reached, or breached, you have ready evidence to have a conversation with them about their performance and the steps they need to take to improve.”

Laura is an organisation development specialist and executive coach with mtc2 ltd and was Highly Commended in the Eastbourne Business Awards’ Business Person of the Year.

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Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.