How do I manage my classmates as their supervisor?

Jim Berlucchi

I am a senior in high school, and I’ve just been promoted to supervisor at my job at a store in the mall. How do I manage people who are in my classes at school without making them hate me?

Address the issue in a frank and upfront manner. Let them know that you’re aware that it’s kind of an awkward dynamic. You’ve been given some authority, but you’re not going to lord it over anybody. You’re co-workers first. And your goal as supervisor is to help them enjoy their work and enjoy success. You want to be a servant leader.

And then be one. Treat them with dignity and respect. When they need direction, give it to them. Try to anticipate their training needs to reduce correcting after the fact. Be as personal as possible. Here’s what I learned that really helped me – share some of your biggest or most embarrassing work mistakes. They’ll love that and you can have a good laugh.

Also, don’t forget to level with your boss about your concern and get some advice. If a dicey problem emerges with someone you’re managing, maybe the boss can handle it, instead of you.

If they start loving you too much at work, you can always make them hate you in the classroom. Nominate yourself as “most likely to succeed.” Run for class president. Brown-nose your teachers, get a 4.0 and graduate early.