Managing A new boss by BALARAJ.CS


									Managing A new boss

With downsizing and restructuring becoming the buzzwords in organisations
all over, change of boss is not uncommon these days. Many professionals
find themselves reporting to a different person while being employed at
the same company.

Dealing with a new boss when relationship with the former was good can be
demanding, even stressful. In fact, the transition is not always easy,
irrespective of the rapport with the old boss.

The arrival of a new leader is often accompanied with change in work
culture, priorities and expectations. They may even review personal
habits such as working hours, break time and private phone calls.
However, instead of viewing the change as a frustrating inconvenience, it
is best to accept it positively. Keep an open mind rather than stubbornly
clinging on to how things used to be done. Forging a productive and
rewarding relationship with the new boss can undoubtedly be a career-
defining moment for any professional.

Get an edge

Do your homework by finding out as much as possible about the new boss
before he/she actually takes over. Search the Internet for information
they might have put on themselves or the organisation they are leaving.
It will not only give some idea about their background but also of the
differences in organisational culture. If he/she has been working in the
same industry, talk to people who have worked with them. Speaking to
former employees or colleagues can offer insight into the work style and
temperament of the person. The more information you gather, the easier it
will be to connect with the new boss and form a solid working

Expect adjustment period

Subsequent to accepting the boss as a different person begins the period
of adjustment. Irrespective of the level of seniority, every person needs
time to adjust to a new work environment. It would be unfair to write-off
the new boss in the first few days as incapable or ineffective. Since he
would need time to get acclimated don't expect him to know exactly how
everything is going to go. Give the new boss a chance to settle down
before trying to turn his attention to your aspirations. Be flexible to
fit in with his needs and schedule, an effort that shall be definitely

Set clear expectations

Get a clear picture of the boss’s expectations early on rather than
putting it off. More than often the new boss will have significantly
different expectations from the previous one. Projects that the former
boss viewed as high priority may have suddenly lost their urgency. As a
consequence sit down and make a list of what you expect from each other
and the job. Expectations could be about working hours, mode of
communication or keeping calendars. Take the initiative to ask for such a
meeting if it is not forthcoming from the boss. A clear conversation will
go a long way in reducing conflicts and avoiding discrepancies.

Volunteer for small tasks

Step forward to aid the boss with small tasks that will help him settle
in the new role and work environment. Rather than waiting for directions
or holding back thinking that it would mean sticking your nose into his
business, volunteer. Alert him or her of your availability when they
start putting their plan of action into place. Since volunteering for a
big task could arouse their suspicion, choose jobs that nobody else
wants. However, assist them on activities that will not take too much
time so as not to ignore your own work. It will not only show that you
are proactive but also give an opportunity to prove your reliability.

Rebuild professional image

With a new boss taking charge, it becomes irrelevant whether you got
along with your previous boss or not. Recognise that past is the past and
the current boss will judge you based on your ongoing relationship with
him or her. As a consequence getting a new boss often means an
opportunity to rebuild one’s professional image. Although past mistakes
will not tarnish this new bond, trying to hide them may. Make a fresh
start by building a work relationship based on honesty and trust.

Avoid comparisons

Although it is natural to compare the old boss with the new, refrain from
doing so. Despite feeling bad about the change, especially if you liked
your old boss, avoid pitting them against each other. Even comparisons
that make the new boss look favoured should be avoided since it could
still be seen as criticising the former. Make a mind shift by thinking of
the boss as a new person with different priorities, tendencies and way of
doing things. Instead of grumbling about the differences, learn from them
and look for ways to bridge the gap. Greet the new boss with an open and
non-judgmental attitude, giving him a fair chance to succeed.


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