It's been said that the average person will have 10 or more new bosses over the course of his or her career. That's quite a few adjustments that employees will have to make. Building a productive relationship with your new boss is critical and should be a top priority for you. Here are some tips that can help.
Set up a one-on-one meeting as early as possible to learn more about him or her.
Determine your boss's priorities, goals and metrics to use to evaluate success. In this meeting, make sure to give a little background about yourself and your role in the organisation. Your boss may not have had time to learn about what you do and your background.
Clarify expectations on your job so the boss knows what is reasonable or realistic. Don't make assumptions - get clarity on what is required or needed.
Secure a commitment to resources you might need to be successful in your job.
Find out what their work style is like. For example, does your boss come into the office early, or stay late, or do both? Does the boss like to be updated via phone calls, face-to-face meetings, or email? How often does he/she want to be updated? Does the boss like getting an overview or strategic view of the issues and projects or does he or she want detailed specifics? What type of decisions does the boss want to be involved in?
Identify your new leader's style in terms of likes, dislikes, hot buttons and preferences.
Be open and flexible to your new boss's style. You must be willing to embrace some change. This is not only a new boss, but it is a new person.
Make a good impression. I am not talking about being a "brown-noser" or a "yes person" who just agrees with the new boss or strokes his/her ego with comments about how great he or she is. Rather, it is important to share your knowledge and organisational insights with your new boss. Be careful not to just pile on the flattery. Be genuine.
Help your boss to be successful. This is critical for a new boss. Help him/her get up-to-speed on the organisation. It will be appreciated. At the same time, remember that your boss is the leader. So, while you might offer help, you don't need to step in to take over.
Anticipate your new boss's needs. Show initiative and ask the boss how you can help. Go beyond the call of duty.
Stay positive and enthusiastic. This can have an impact on having everyone around you have a positive outlook.
Watch what you say about colleagues. It is not a good idea to say negative things about your co-workers or other employees. Be careful about making comparisons (even positive ones) between your new boss and the previous boss.
Find out who the boss admires and is influenced by. Make sure to develop good relationships with those folks as well.
Keep a "new boss list of questions or information" to share with him/her throughout the day. Use those short snippets of time to ask questions or share insights. Be organised in case you do not get larger blocks of time with him/her.
Get feedback. Set up a meeting within the first month or two to see how you are doing (from your boss's perspective).
Bring solutions to meetings, not just the problems.
Try to score some early wins and successes. Make sure to give them updates about what you are doing.
Remember, getting a new boss brings with it new opportunities. Use this time as a way to try out some things you have always wanted to do: Speak up in meetings, take on new projects, etc. Also, remember that it is an adjustment time for the new boss, too; so cut him/her some slack by giving time and space to adjust.