• Priya Venkatesan

My peer has become my boss. What is my choice?


You worked hard aiming for a promotion. Your peer got considered first and he is your new boss now.

You don't know how differently you need to behave, now that his role has changed.

You may have been competitors or friends earlier. You may feel dejected or happy for them.


Its easy to go into fight or flight mode when things don't go your way.

This harbours resentment and unpleasant work atmosphere.

It also keeps you on an emotional roller coaster and might cost you your health.

Ultimately how do you make sense of this transition?


Coaching conversations are not always about good news and aspirational goals.

They are also about processing and reflecting what didn't go well for you.

With this awareness you develop choice to be or become the person you want to be.


Lets look at why this change is hard to accept in the first place?


Changes in life that affect our core identity and are radical carry major risks, disturbances and cause unsettling feelings. See Figure 1.

If you had associated this promotion to who you are, it's going to be too hard to digest the fact that it's not.

It almost feels like your identity / self image is under threat.



Figure 1: Change & Transitions



 Hence processing this change will need you to give yourself a transition time.

During this transition time, you can increase your self awareness, acceptance/action by addressing the below:


1. Processing loss: An un-solicited change that affects us, creates a feeling of loss - the loss could be position, status, wealth, self image, identity, narrative or anything we hold dear. Listing them and being with the sense of loss without the need to distract oneself or motivate oneself is the first step to acceptance of the present moment. This results in "letting-go" which is crucial to be resourceful and being able to allow "reality".





2. Processing emotions

It's normal to feel a flurry of emotions with transitions right from anger, resentment, frustration, disillusionment, fear, threat, guilt etc . Creating space to "feel" them fully instead of running away from them is important to ensure you don't get hijacked in the future. Take the time to process emotions fully.









3. Processing lessons


Every life event has a lot of lessons for us to to experience and learn. Look at the event and analyse what lesson is it teaching you? Is it teaching you to pace yourself? Is it teaching you to be more "tolerant"? Is it teaching you that there is more to life than a promotion? What are you learning?








4. Finding opportunity


The foundational questions in Transformation Presence by Alan Seale are these:

a. What wants to happen? What is the gift or opportunity here?

b. What is it asking me to be?

c. What is my next step?


Answering these questions will help you reach to your next course of action that is well thought through and resonates with who you are.




How do you build choice during periods of change?

What works for you?



#leadershipcoaching #executivecoaching #peerbecomingboss #changemanagement


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