New Boss? Start off Right!
Jamie Hartmann is moving on; your new manager is Iliana Garcia. As your next level manager makes the announcement, you wonder what this new boss means for you. A new boss can shake up your department, your way of working and your daily workload. Whether the change is hoped for or dreaded, expected or a surprise, you are partly responsible for making it work. Building a strong relationship with your new boss is essential for you to continue to thrive in your role.
Do your homework
Use your network, inside and outside the company, to find out what your new boss is like. What insights can you gain about her goals, her style and her expectations? This is when your investment in your network can pay off. Knowledge is power, and helps you start off on the right foot.
Make the first move
Be proactive. Send your new boss a short welcoming message and invitation to a 1:1 meet and greet meeting. Let her know that you are interested in what you can learn from her, and in working together to meet the company’s goals. Your introduction also starts the process of teaching her about the team culture. Model the behaviours you want from her in return.
Before your first introduction to your new boss, review your elevator speech. What are your core skills? How does your work history make you a strong performer? Prepare short overviews of your projects or major activities and have core documents available to share. Give honest answers to any questions she asks, and ask frank questions yourself.
Remember, like you, your new boss is adjusting to the new situation. Offer your assistance, particularly if she is coming from outside the department or outside the business. Ask questions like ‘How can I help you get started? What information can I provide to bring you up to speed? Make it clear that you and she are on the same team, bringing both of your unique abilities together.
Whatever you agree in the meeting, do it! Send the information, arrange the other meeting, arrange the introductions. These first actions will set her expectations and her impression of you. Make it positive!
Onboarding your new boss is your job too!
Getting a new boss can be a positive or negative change. You own part of the responsibility for making it work. Do your part to help her become a part of the team. A strong first interaction creates a strong foundation for a positive working relationship.