QUESTION - I have recently been promoted to work in a prestigious project. I was pleasantly surprised to know that my previous reporting boss and I would now be peers. I was looking forward to working with him as we shared a very good rapport. Unfortunately things are turning out quite different from what I had expected. My previous boss(now peer) is behaving very cold and non -cooperative. In fact, he has been refusing all my effort to establish communication. It is a very big challenge to work as a team under these circumstances. If it continues, I fear the project may begin to suffer, and that is making me very uneasy and stressed. ADVICE - Congratulations for the promotion. Your seniors have made a decision to promote you to be at par with your senior colleague, now it is your responsibility to handle the promotion in a manner that your senior`s decision is proven to be right. You are gaining momentum compared to others in your organisation. You are facing challenges similar to what Dhoni had faced, when he became Captain of the Indian team ahead of the likes of Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj. He has successfully lead players as senior as Sachin Tendulkar and Dravid. Many people remember when Dhoni picked up Anil Kumble on his shoulders at the end of the match that was to be the last match for Kumble as the Indian captain. Dhoni also ensured that Sachin Tendulkar gets to be lifted on the shoulders of fellow players on the eve of India lifting the World cup. Such gestures go a long way in creating harmony when individuals are being promoted rapidly like you. Please be sensitive to the fact that your ex-boss is now your peer, it will take sometime for him or her to get used to this change, make it easier on him or her by you being sensitive and giving him or her the respect that you had always given. Communicating your gratitude for the guidance that he has given will also help. If you feel that your ex-boss on occasions is not dealing with his or her insecurities well, and is misbehaving, you be sensible and step back and find other ways to ensure that the team doesn`t suffer. Also seek opportunities where you can have one on one time with your ex-boss, now at par with you be it having tea or coffee, or meals or if possible travelling together, on these occasions be `extra` nice. It is only a matter of time. Be sensitive and sensible, and things will return to normal.

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