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Unable to accept authority of peer who has become my manager now

Asked by Male, 34, Single
I have a manager who was my peer till few months back and was less competent than me (objectively proven through reviews). I don't respect him to be a better professional than me and hate that he has been made my manager. This is affecting our working relationship and causes daily stress. Essentially, I am unable to accept his authority. What should I do to have a pragmatic outcome?
Answer
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Madhuri Mohan
Counselling Psychologist

As much as you resent the fact that your peer is now your manager, you may have to accept it. If you are not keen on leaving your current employment as yet. Here are few ways you can cope with the change, and help improve your working environment.

1. You could talk to your one-over manager. It is likely that he/she is the one who was responsible for the promotion of your peer. Talk to them and find out what were their reasons for choosing your peer over you. Start by assuring them that you are mature enough to handle this change and understand what their perspective was while making the decision. You can also discuss how this change will affect your growth in the company. Share your present concerns with them and try to find an amicable solution.

2. Setting time aside to understand your shortcomings. while you may feel that both you and your peer were equally competent, there may be something that you may be missing out on. Once you understand that from your superiors, focus on developing yourself and give it your best.

3. Acknowledge the changed relationship between you and your peer. As hard as it may be accepting the change will give you the opportunity to see the other person in a new light. a peer-peer relationship is different from a manager-subordinate relationship and by acknowledging this change you will be able to cope better.

4. Discuss it with your manager (peer). talking to the person directly and having an open discussion about your apprehensions will help release some of the awkwardness. By addressing the elephant in the room, you would not only help smoothen everyday operations, it will also give you the opportunity to understand what are views of the other person.

5. Keep an open mind. having a peer become your boss may be a boon, they understand your working style and how you like to be managed. this could work toward your advantage, only if you keep an open mind and not be led by your biases.

6. maybe you could look for lateral moves. moving to another team within the company where you don't have to work with your current manager would release the tension and improve the quality of your work.

Most important thing to keep in mind is to give it time. this transitioning phase maybe tough, and you are feeling disappointed, but if you do not give things time to find the right balance, you may jeopardize your career in the long-run.

If you feel like you need to talk more about the same, feel free to get in touch. Thanks.

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