Another New Boss: How to Make the Transition Work for You!
Recently during a coaching call, one of my clients was expressing her concerns about having a new boss. She was a little anxious about having to prove herself once again. “What do you know about this person?” I asked. “Nothing,” she replied. “Only that he is very focused on his own career advancement.” “Sounds like an opportunity to me,” I replied. “You have got to be kidding me,” she laughed. “Let me hear this one.”
There is no need to assume that you have to prove yourself. The only reason why you feel that way is because of your own paradigms, not the new boss’s. Change can represent an opportunity if you are willing to lean into it. What I mean is, understand how you can focus on your own strengths and neutralize your weaknesses. The new boss will buy in to whatever you are selling. It’s your choice to sell confidence and expertise or to sell ‘I’m still in the proving stage.’
The question isn’t what does a new boss mean to you. The real question is what do you want it to mean to you. I am going to assume that what you want is to experience success. If that assumption is correct, here’s my advice on how to make that become a reality.
#1 - Be the expert of your business. No one should know the business that you are responsible for better than you. The depth of your knowledge in terms of the strategy, the history of the department or business unit and, most important, your own vision for the future of the work should roll from your tongue.
#2 - Know your value. What have you done to advance the business? Prepare to share how your strengths have directly impacted the bottom line. I would encourage you to have examples of programs, processes or best practices that you have developed and implemented with success to prove your case.
#3 - Air your dirty laundry. Don’t let the new boss find dirt. The best way to clean up a situation is to air it out. If there are pieces about your business that are less than good, then own up to it. But be prepared to offer solutions to the situations. And be prepared to tell him or her what actions have been taken to correct the problems.
#5 - Describe the perfect relationship and environment where you can thrive. In this age of empowerment, everyone is responsible for playing a role in creating the culture of the team. Start the relationship off right by offering insight on the things that you believe to be of value in terms of good business relationships and team environments. Perhaps open communication is at the top of your list. Or maybe it’s important for you to feel as though you are a value-added partner and not an executioner (one who takes instructions and delivers without any input or questions). Don’t be afraid to describe the kind of environment where you can thrive. It may be that you work best when you receive little instruction, or maybe it’s the opposite. Only you know what works for you. If you haven’t thought about your ideal environment, there’s no time like the present.
#6 - Seek to learn. Even the most inexperienced new manager has something that he or she can share. Make up your mind to learn from the new boss. Set yourself a goal to spend time (in a casual atmosphere—maybe over coffee) getting to know him or her better. Listen with an attentive ear for lessons or insights. Ask for feedback on decisions that he or she makes. Continuous learning is one of the critical keys to success.
#7 - Keep an open mind and an open heart. Don’t start the new relationship off with any preconceived ideas. Instead, keep your mind and your heart open. To successfully process change you must embrace it intellectually and emotionally. Lean into the change in order to find the opportunity.
These seven steps are sure to get you off to a good start. If you are serious about personal development and career advancement, you must learn to make opportunities work for you.
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