We recently did a series of posts (view here) about 3 key steps you can take to succeed when you’ve gotten a promotion or new role.
Since writing these posts, we’ve received a number of questions from people who are working for a new boss (some are new to the company and others are coworkers who have been promoted). They’ve asked how to help this new boss succeed and how they can be most successful in working with them.
As you may know, we believe that leadership is a way of being in the world. We’ve seen that when people step into their leadership, regardless of their role or title, they’re most successful and their companies thrive. Remember, we define leadership as the willingness to influence your world and the willingness to be influenced by your world.
your leadership matters.
Think about how you can be influenced by your new boss. What do you know about who they are, what they value, and what they see as their mandate in this new job?
Taking the time to get a sense of who they are—being influenced by them—will help you have the greatest influence on them as you’re developing this new relationship. Even if this is someone you’ve known for years, if they’re now your boss, this is a new relationship and requires new ways of working together.
You can do this by using similar steps to the ones we described in the promotion series we mentioned (and linked to) at the beginning of this post.
The 3 key steps to engage and build an effective relationship with your new boss are:
- Show gratitude and respect for the opportunity to work together and to learn from your new boss.
- We’re not suggesting you “kiss up” but that you let your new boss know that you recognize the opportunities for you, your department, and the organization in this new working relationship.
- You acknowledge to yourself and, if appropriate, to your new boss, that theirs is a big job and that you’re here to support them in creating success.
- Be curious so that you can get to know your new boss, what they value, how they lead and manage, and what they might be challenged by in the new role. By asking about the work they’ve done, the work they’re excited to do now, and where they might need your support, you’ll understand the person you’ll be working for much better.You can ask questions like:
- What brought you to this organization/department?
- What motivates you in your work?
- What’s your proudest work accomplishment to date?
- If you’re wildly successful in this new role, what will have happened / be in place in 12 – 18 months?
- Share data with your new boss. Ask what they need to know to get their feet under them. Be prepared to talk about the projects you and/or the team is working on, a bit of background information on those projects, and any plans to move forward. Keep it short—a new position can be overwhelming at first.
When you’re in the position of working with a new boss or a new colleague, stay open to influencing them and being influenced by them (again and again!). You’ll increase the likelihood of creating a strong and successful working relationship.
You’ve got this!