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How To Build A Strong Relationship With A New Boss

How To Build A Strong Relationship With A New Boss

Imagine this scenario. You join a new company and are thrilled with your manager. Then, three months later, just when you develop a solid relationship, you go through a reorganization and are assigned a new boss. Layoffs and frequent reorgs are a harsh reality in today’s economy. So, it’s not uncommon for employees to start over with a new manager every few months. The question is, how can you stay productive, maintain continuity and grow your career when your boss keeps changing?

In most cases, cycling through many managers during your tenure at a company is challenging but unavoidable. What you can control is how you react. Instead of resisting change, be proactive. Here are some reasons for making a positive first impression and tips to build rapport with your new boss from day one.

Why it’s Important to Work Well With a New Boss

Let’s face it—building a strong relationship with your boss can boost your career. The better they know you and your work, the more likely you’ll be rewarded with high-profile assignments, promotions and salary increases. Another reason to work well with your boss is that it benefits your mental health. According to a study by The Workforce Institute at UKG, managers have a more significant impact on our mental health (69%) than even doctors or therapists. Not surprisingly, when you have a positive mental outlook, you are more productive, energized and committed to your work. Also, there are long-term benefits. Establishing a good relationship with your manager means they are more likely to become your mentor and provide a favorable reference in the future.

6 Tips for Working With a New Manager

When you find yourself starting over (yet again) with a new boss, remember these strategies.

Invest in the relationship

It’s easy to convince yourself that your new boss will soon be replaced. So why bother investing in the relationship? In truth, it’s very important. First, you can’t be sure how long they will be in that role. And since your relationship is symbiotic, your effort will only ensure your work is enjoyable. In fact, relationships with management are a top factor in employee job satisfaction, according to a McKinsey analysis.

Understand their priorities

Your first task is to understand your manager’s role and priorities. Then, strive to align your priorities with theirs. It’s critical that you are aware of how your role contributes to achieving their objectives. Once you establish common ground, you’ll be in a better position to understand their vision and do what you can to support it.

Anticipate their needs

One of the best ways to anticipate your manager’s needs is to train yourself to think like the boss. You don’t need to be a mind reader. Just try to understand their expectations and be proactive. Don’t hesitate to speak up and share ideas that benefit the organization. Also, improve your business acumen so you can think of ways to increase efficiency and make your boss’ life easier. By staying one step ahead of your manager, you’ll eventually be able to come to them with solutions rather than complaints.

Ask intelligent questions

Another way to build rapport with your manager is to ask thoughtful, probing questions. The reason is twofold: establishing yourself as a curious team player while getting to know your boss better.

  • Here are some examples:
  • How do you prefer to communicate?
  • What are your top priorities for this year?
  • What is the company’s greatest challenge?
  • How can I better support you and add value?
  • Do you have any recommendations on how I can improve my performance?

Practice empathy

Being a manager can be very isolating, so try to understand their feelings and perspective. Develop your listening skills and provide feedback that lets them know you’re on their side. Not only will it help them trust you, but you’ll also have a better understanding of their insecurities and challenges.

Adapt to their communication style

Part of managing up is matching your boss’ communication style. For example, do they prefer updates via email or in person? Do they want to know every detail of your projects or just the big picture? Are they more task-focused or people-oriented? By taking steps to adapt your communication style, you’ll foster a dynamic and thriving work environment.

See Also

Establishing rapport with a new boss is never easy, but adapting is the key to success. While starting over might seem time-consuming, there’s a silver lining. With each new manager, you are growing the network of people who can vouch for your work. Now that’s something to celebrate.

Forbes

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