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HBR Guide to Office Politics (HBR Guide Series) by Karen Dillon

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Chapter 10

Managing a Disgruntled Former Peer

The Problem

A recent, and well-deserved, promotion changed the social structure in your group. A pal and former peer now reports to you—and he doesn’t like it. He acts as if he doesn’t realize you’re the boss, bypassing you whenever possible. Sometimes he’s downright hostile. It’s awkward for both of you. You’re afraid you’ll look ineffectual if you don’t get it under control quickly, but you’re not sure it’s possible to fix the situation and save the relationship.

Why It Happens

It’s common for a former peer to resist a reporting change like this. The problem stems largely from the complex issue of self-esteem, says Carol Walker, a principal at Prepared to Lead. We all benchmark ourselves against ...

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