How do I make sure I make a good impression on my new boss?
I got a recent coaching request from a couple of Emerging Leaders that I work with who were concerned about a change in their organization. This change would mean that they were both getting a new Leader that they would report to. They worried about how to make sure they could build a good relationship with their new Manager. Have you ever been in a similar situation? If so, read on!
Common Sense: If you have common sense, you know that it is your responsibility to invest in building a strong relationship with your new manager, one based on trust. Do what you say you’re going to do, every time. Work hard, work smart, and anticipate your new boss’s needs. When a new leader joins a company, they are often a bit nervous about making a positive first impression and a notable positive impact during their first 120 days. Align your interests with your new leader’s and help her to be a great success, then she will be interested in returning the favor!
Loyalty Rewards: You will occasionally find a reason to disagree with your new manager, everyone does. Expect that, and prepare for it. When you find that you need to disagree, do it in a way that honors both of you. Remember that she’s still the boss and still deserving of your respect and deference. Provide your input with balance and be clear about where you agree and where you respectfully see things differently. Don’t ever let anyone drive a wedge between you and your new manager. You must be loyal and support her in all weather, come rain or come shine. The only exception is if your new boss should ever expect you and others to do something that is inconsistent with the company’s core values, which is highly unlikely.
Contribute Consistently and Professionally: Present feedback and recommendations to your new leader with balance and humility. Professionalism dictates that you always provide a recommended solution along with any problem you identify and that you never throw anyone under the bus. Be positive and advocate for positive change, and let your business case be so strong that it will carry the day. Remember that your new manager needs you to deliver great work and consistent results. If you are a high performer, and you are conducting yourself like a true business professional, the boss will consider you a highly-valued asset to the team and the company.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask: You want the truth? You’ve got to be able to handle the truth. Too many Emerging Leaders are not comfortable enough asking their manager for candid feedback about expectations and measurements, and how they are performing against expectations. Here’s how to look at this: There is NO value in thinking you’re performing well, while your boss doesn’t think you’re performing well. Would you rather be blissfully ignorant and let months go by while you’re underperforming, or would you rather rip off the Band-Aid and give the problem a chance to heal by having a candid discussion with your new manager. I know I always appreciated knowing where I stood with my manager, and while it might be intimidating to ask the boss how you’re doing, once you get their assessment, you are in a fine position to have great dialogue about how to move to a better place. Do it!
At the end of the day, each of us is working at an organization with the purpose of adding value to the organization. When we do so, we raise our manager’s trust in us and our own credibility. Get started doing a great job, and make sure that you provide your leader with solutions, not problems, and things should go well. Best of luck to you!
Michael Beach is an executive development coach and business advisor who specializes in coaching C-Suite Executives, Business Owners, and Leadership Teams. Michael has a passion for helping to develop Emerging Leaders, those high performers, who have just been promoted to management positions for the first time, or who are being developed in advance of a promotion to management.
Michael holds two Business Workshops once a month in Prior Lake, MN. In May, these workshops will be held on May 26. The morning workshop starts at 8:00 AM and ends at Noon, and will provide you with the knowledge to help you build ‘High-Performance Teams’. The afternoon workshop starts at 1:00 PM and ends at 5:00 PM. This workshop will help you understand Performance Management, how it works best, and provide you with the tools needed to make it work for your business. To sign up or to obtain more information about our Business Workshops, just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.