Promotion, But The Other Manager is Unhappy

Question to Ask the Workplace  Doctors about promoted in a transfer but former colleague is unhappy: I did not tell her I was doing this

I am a manager for a company but I recently was asked to transfer to another site (same company) with a promotion in title and a raise. I accepted the offer, but now the other manager is unhappy with me because I did not tell her I was doing this. She is ignoring me and acting very sour. She does not like the person taking my place and feels (I think) truly left out. I offered for her to come with me and we would find a place for her, but she is still upset. How should I respond?

I did not tell her I was doing it because I did not know until the last minute (but she knew it was always an option for me). She is acting very sullen and withdrawn and offended. I do not want to leave on bad terms and I hate to just ignore her until it is time for me to leave. A mutual friend of ours even tried calling her and was hung up on when she asked how she was doing. What should I do?

Signed, Worried

Dear Worried:

It’s unfortunate that your fellow manager is taking out on you her disappointment over the changes that are taking place. I can understand how she might feel, but a friend–or a professional acting person–wouldn’t behave as she is behaving. Time is probably the only thing that can make this better for her. If you try to make her feel better it may seem as though you are pitying her. Or, it may frustrate you to the point you say something in anger or irritation.

So, try simply keeping a courteous approach when you must communicate and in that way letting her know you are available to talk.You might want to consider giving her your new contact information in an email and telling her something like, “Maria, I’ll miss you a lot and I hope we can stay in touch. Here’s my new contact information. I’ll hope to hear from you soon.”

Consider contacting the person taking your place and welcoming that person to the position. Then, give him or her contact information for your fellow manager and mention what a great resource she was. Let your fellow manager know what you’ve done.As I said, this is unfortunate, but all too common. If you can keep a positive attitude and share it, perhaps your fellow manager will see this as a great thing for you, and will be happy for your sake. Normally I would suggest talking to the person who manages both of you, but that might result in your fellow manager getting in trouble or being viewed less positively. If you have a good relationship with your manager you might want to discuss this with him or her and see if her or she has some ideas about the matter. Best wishes in your new position and role. Don’t let this situation distract you as you rightfully enjoy the moment.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.