New Managers: The Truth About Getting Respect
July 06, 2015
The following is an excerpt with minor edits from Awesome Supervisory Skills: Seven Lessons for Young, First-Time Managersby Tamara Murray. At age 28, I was promoted to vice president at a PR firm. Shortly after, I was tasked with closing our staff retreat with a talk. It was a tough task because it'd been a tough year. People were weary. Related:How To Manage Without Being Mean (Is It Possible To Not Be Pushy?) I prepared a thoughtful, motivational speech to remind everyone why we were there in the first place and why, despite our challenges, we were lucky to work with remarkable colleagues. I took a deep breath, looked around the table, and launched into it. And I immediately began crying. It was not a single, tasteful tear that conveys a professional level of emotion. These were full-blown sobs, the kind where you’re gasping like a toddler who fell off a swing. Apparently, I, too, was weary. I managed to talk through the sobs. Afterward, I packed my things and was out the door. The further I walked, the more my horror grew. I frantically texted my manager asking him how big of an ass I made of myself. Then, I texted my direct report with the same question. I was suffering from, as researcher Brené Brown calls it, a “vulnerability hangover.” Every time I replayed the scene in my mind, I died a little. Who would respect me now?