One Trick for Starting Off On the Right Foot With a New Boss
Having a new manager start at your company can be equal parts exciting and terrifying. A new boss can bring a fresh perspective to your job—but a clean slate also means you're starting from square one in terms of earning his or her trust and approval. Karen Dillon, author of the HBR Guide to Office Politics, spoke with the Harvard Business Review about building a strong relationship with your new manager. Her main takeaway: Remember that your boss is probably stressed about their new position, too.
Empathize with your boss by asking yourself what you can do to help them settle in, Dillon told HBR. One ingenious way to get them up to speed in a jiff? Hand over a copy of your resume.
Dillon recounts a story of one employee who made a great impression by doing just this on Dillon's first day as a new manager. “I had met so many people that day and she was one of the last,” Dillon told HBR. “She just handed me her resume and said, ‘I just want you to know a little bit about my background. Read it at your convenience. Here’s the gist of what I do. When you’re ready, I look forward to talking to you about how we work together.’ It was just a few minutes. But it was so sensitive to me, so emotionally intelligent to me as the new manager.”
It's also smart to temper your expectations: You may have had a fantastic relationship with your old boss, but building a solid foundation with your new manager will take time. "It may not be possible to have a deep, great connection in the first few days or even few weeks," Dillon told HBR. So, look for common ground with your manager as you get to know them, and be flexible with your work habits as you figure out their preferences and communication style (your old boss may have preferred email, but your new manager might like to catch-up face-to-face). The more willing you are to go with the flow as your boss settles in, the quicker they'll feel like they can rely on you.
[h/t Harvard Business Review]