Adjusting to life with a new boss

November 5, 2014 Categorized in: Featured ArticleManaging the BossTeamwork

boss and employeeA new boss can introduce a lot of new elements to your work life, such as a new leadership style, a new way of communicating and new expectations. With so much change coming all at once, figuring out how to adapt can prove challenging for even the most flexible employees.

Career coach Joyce E.A. Russell offers these tips to help you cut through your anxiety and start adjusting to your new reality.

• Meet face-to-face. Take the initiative and set up a one-on-one meeting with your new boss as soon as possible to introduce yourself and learn more about her.

Pinpoint priorities. Your boss may not know exactly what you do for the company or your role. Use your meeting as a chance to explain your value to the company and learn her priorities and goals.

Avoid assumptions. Discuss what your us­­ual duties and deliverables have been and share what has normally been expected of you. Then get clear di­­rec­­tion on her expectations and see if they’re a realistic fit for you.

Suss out her work style. Learn how your new boss operates by paying attention to her schedule. For example: Is she always early? Does she often stay late? Does she like a lot of details or prefer just getting an overview?

Consider communication preferences. Your new boss will have preferred methods of communication and you should find out what they are and adapt to them. For example: Does she prefer emails, meetings or phone calls. Does she want daily updates or weekly?

 Figure out how much she wants to be involved. Learn which decisions your boss wants to be part of, and which decisions you and your de­­part­­ment are free to make on your own.

Keep it real. The point of getting to know your boss isn’t to suck up or stroke her ego. The point is to learn about her and genuinely share your expertise and advice.

Be an optimist. Step up and stay positive. Doing this will not only make you feel better, but will also have a positive effect on your co-workers and make a great impression on your new boss.

— Adapted from “Career Coach: Ways to get to know the new boss,” Joyce E.A. Russell, The Washington Post.