Got a New Boss? Here are some Do’s and Dont’s To Get Off To A Rocking Start!

The New BOSS!

The kitchenette/water cooler huddles are buzzing with activity. A new boss has been appointed to your team!

What is the new boss like? Will there be changes to the status quo? Will the team culture change? People coming & going? What should I do?

Some DOs to get this new relationship off to a flying positive start:

1) DO RESEARCH. Who is he/she, what is he/she like? Personality? Management Style? Reputation? Go to the net. Google, Yahoo! LinkedIn his name his/her name and the previous employer. Look for media releases, business articles, professional bios, recommendations. Use your 6 degrees of separation. Friends, colleagues, people in your network. It won’t be too difficult to track down people that know him/her and collect some anecdotal information.

2) DO SEND A CARE PACKAGE. When I was appointed to a new position, one my direct reports sent me a care package to help me transition into a new office and working with a new team. What is in the care package? Updates on the performance of the business, unwritten rules, processes, important schedules & events, cultural taboos, briefing on members of the team. Your new boss will be very thankful (I know I was).

3) DO CREATE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BREAK THE ICE. Organize a team lunch or team dinner (hopefully your boss will pay pick up the bill!) The sooner everyone gets comfortable and familiar with the new boss, the sooner we can all focus on the business challenges at hand.

4) DO HAVE ONE ON ONE MEETINGS. Suggest a regular (daily, weekly) one on one meeting to clarify and communicate expectations for key result areas, key performance indicators, style and manner. Do not assume that the new boss have the same expectations and operates the same as your previous boss. Example: He/she may absorb information in different formats and prefer information delivered in a personal conversation over coffee or in a spreadsheet with numbers & facts or a detailed well written report. If he/she is open to receiving constructive feedback, then try this – 3 things he/she should continue doing, 3 things he/she should start doing, 3 things to stop doing.

5) DO GIVE YOUR BOSS A CHANCE. Your new boss may have new ideas, initiatives, and strategies. Have an open mind. Give him/her the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. It may revolutionize the current mindset and ways of doing things and lift performance to a new level.

6) DO MAKE YOUR NEW BOSS LOOK GOOD. If you assist to improve the performance of the business, help create an open, honest, transparent, positive environment based on mutual trust. Its win-win for all. As the saying goes “when the tide rises, everything rise with it…”

Here are some DON’Ts to consider:

1) DON’T SPREAD RUMOURS. Word will eventually get back to your new boss on the source of the stories and rumours about him/her. Not a good way to build a mutual trust relationship.

2) DON’T BE A BROWN NOSER. You may come across to your new boss as someone that is insincere and too eager to please. It may generate ill feelings with you & your colleagues.

3) DON’T’ COMPARE. Nobody likes to be compared especially if it can be taken in a negative context. Saying “I like how the previous boss use to do this & that…” does not achieve anything. Try this “How would you like this to be done….”. Acknowledge there is a new Sheriff in town.

4) DON’T BE UNCO-OPERATIVE. Don’t sit in the corner observing & vocalising your new boss’ weaknesses and nuances, secretly (or not so secretly) hoping he/she will fail. This will only generate negative vibes and bring the morale of the team down. Everyone loses in this case.

Give it 100 days, if despite your best efforts in being the team player and doing all the right things by your new boss, if its is not working out for you then its time to get off that train and look for a new job!

Photo from Google Images “Boss – Tommy Lee Jones by Boss Coffee”

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