Whether your boss is new to you because of a new job or because he’s the new manager at your current work, it’s important to get off to a good start.
If you make a good first impression and forge a productive working relationship, you could deepen your job satisfaction and advance your career.
Try these strategies to succeed with a new boss and troubleshoot in difficult situations.
General Guidelines for Succeeding With a New Boss
- Meet regularly. Schedule an introductory meeting as early as possible and check in on an ongoing basis. You may need formal sessions or just a few minutes to touch base as time goes on.
- Clarify expectations. Prevent missteps by finding out what your supervisor regards as top priorities.Discuss the level of involvement they feel comfortable with and what forms of communication will serve you best, whether it’s texting or talking face to face.
- Negotiate for resources. Advocate for what you need to get your job done. That may include additional personnel, funds and continuing education opportunities.
- Deliver results on projects your boss cares about. Prove you’re a valuable team member by racking up accomplishments that matter to your new superior. Get that supply closet organized or close some sales.
- Offer assistance. Let your boss take the lead but try to anticipate their needs. You have valuable experience and insider information to contribute that could be critical to meeting your mutual goals.
- Display enthusiasm. Go the extra mile to exceed expectations. Maintaining a positive attitude can reduce stress during challenging transitions.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Your boss is breaking new ground too. Give them time to adjust and get used to a new organization and colleagues.
Troubleshooting For Difficult Situations
- Resist the urge to make comparisons. Keep an open mind to different approaches than your previous supervisor used. This could be a chance to abandon routines that were always problematic.
- Be judicious about disclosing personal information. Allow rapport to develop gradually and naturally. Stick to business and small talk until you get to know each other better. If you eventually become personal friends who can relate on a deeper level, that’s a nice bonus.
- Prepare for your annual evaluation. Try meeting at least six months in advance to make any mid course corrections. It will help you to avoid unpleasant surprises and your boss will probably appreciate your commitment.
- Anticipate cutbacks if your company is in a turnaround scenario. Sometimes new leadership arrives with a mandate to reduce the workforce. Accept the inevitable and make the best of shouldering additional responsibilities or negotiating a favorable severance package.
- Know your limitations. Figure out what changes you can live with and what changes would be detrimental to your wellbeing. You can probably get used to a new brand of coffee. On the other hand, you may need to draw the line at requests like mandatory overtime, taking work home to complete, or other requests.
- Consider a new position, if necessary. If the situation is untenable despite your best efforts, you may need to see if you can transfer to another department or launch a full-fledged job search.
- Discreetly explore other openings while taking care of your responsibilities and preparing for an amicable departure. Your search may be lengthy, so be gentle with yourself and welcome support from loved ones or spiritual practices that can help you to sustain your spirits.
You have a lot at stake when you acquire a new boss. It’s natural to feel a little apprehensive, but taking the initiative to clarify expectations and maintain open communications can help you both come out ahead.