Get in good with the head honcho, right off the bat.
So, you're answering to someone new. Wouldn't it be nice if you can get on–and stay on–good terms?
She says, “When confronted with a new boss, the first and most important step is to get a clear understanding of the best ways [you and your new boss can] work together successfully, including your new manager's communication preferences.”
It's not rocket science — there are a few simple ways to build a good relationship with your superior:
Get on the same wavelength.
Hopefully, your new manager will set aside time to meet with you and explain their expectations, such as how to request PTO, when and how you should contact her or him outside regular business hours and the way she or he likes to communicate best (i.e. Slack, email or phone).
If your boss does not coordinate a meeting, the onus is on you to ask these questions. You can't meet your manager's expectations if you don't know what they are.
Do some “asking around.”
If you're finding it a challenge to get on the same page as your boss, seek out one of your manager's former direct reports, and ask for their pearls of wisdom. No one will have better insights to share than someone who worked under your boss's leadership. If your boss is also new, don't hesitate to ask for an introduction to a former colleague or direct report. Say something like:
“I'd love to speak with someone whom you've previously managed who could help me better understand your management style and ensure I'm providing everything you need to succeed. Would you mind introducing me to one of your former direct reports?”
This will help you to more quickly understand and meet your manager's expectations. Not to mention, it will demonstrate your ability to take initiative.
Touch base, face-to-face.
If you prefer face-to-face meetings and your boss favors email, don't be afraid to say so. Let her or him know that meeting face-to-face–even if it's only for 15 minutes weekly or biweekly–would help you stay on task and stay confident in your work.
There's nothing wrong with explaining how you work best, and proposing a compromise that works for both of you. Regardless of your boss' communication preferences, make a point to document her or his decisions and directions via email, so you always have a record for future reference.
So, start off on the right foot and establish a great working relationship with your boss. It can only make your life that much easier!
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