Q: I was recently promoted and now one of my direct reports is almost twice as old as I am. She asked me my age recently in conversation and I gracefully avoided answering. Is it wrong to tell her how young I am? How do I avoid this becoming a greater issue?
A: Sounds like you need her to become a bit of an ally instead of a of a foe. Can she offer something to you because of her wisdom or experience?
Can she empathize, possibly, with the predicament that you’re in with this promotion or is she angry that you got this over her?
If it’s the latter then you’ll need to keep things very professional with her and minimize any personal interaction. Ultimately you want to earn her, and everyone else’s, trust. You got this promotion for a reason so let them see you shine — hopefully making everyone else shine, too!
Becoming, or being, a manager is often the most difficult transition for anyone. If you don’t have a lot of experience being a leader now is a good time to read up on leadership approaches, and/or look for a good mentor to help you grow into your new role.
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Daisy Swan, MA, CPCC, career strategist, coach and counselor, has worked with hundreds of clients over the past 20 years. Known for her compassionate and straightforward approach, Daisy guides her clients to clarify their career direction and supports them as they find and take the necessary steps to realize their professional and personal goals. Daisy has been a career professional in private practice for 15 years, serving a broad population of senior executives, attorneys, sales and IT professionals, writers, producers, actors and new grads. She also has years of career counseling and presentation experience at several major universities helping MBA students prepare for career transitions and supporting them in their job search. She has extensive interviewing and recruiting experience and is knowledgeable about a wide variety of business sectors nationwide. An expert in the uses of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator for career and communications purposes, Daisy has used the assessment in individual and group training.
Daisy’s first book, Making Work Work: Secrets from a Career Coach’s Office will be available in January 2012. She has appeared on network TV on NBC’s daytime coaching program Starting Over as well as ABC’s online ABCNewsNow.com. She has also appeared on Style Network’s Modern Girl’s Guide to Living, and as a guest on the Frank Girls talk radio program. She has been a guest expert on the LivewellHD.com/ ABC channel on Advice for Life and has been widely quoted on career issues in the Washingtonpost.com, The LA Weekly, The Christian Science Monitor, the NY Post, Prevention magazine, and Yahoo HotJobs.com. She has also been a commentator on panels with several economists discussing the unprecedented labor situation in California. As a committed professional concerned with teaching young people to explore their career interests, Daisy has also been a consultant to a prestigious San Jose college preparatory high school organizing and implementing a career exploration mentoring program pairing students with area professionals.
Over the past several years Daisy has grown her business, Daisy Swan & Associates, to include several outstanding coaches. Information about one-on-one and group coaching as well as valuable resources can be found on her website, www.daisyswan.com. Also check for networking events and informative panels here.
Daisy is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach through the Coaches Training Institute and a Certified Somatic Coach through the Strozzi Institute in Petaluma, CA. She has a BA from Loyola University Chicago and a Masters degree from University of Chicago. She lives in Manhattan Beach with her 15 year-old son.