How do you make a good impression on your new boss? Well, first you should try to understand what it means to be a boss in general.
A new boss is both a fresh-faced individual, and someone who is filling a defined role. Recognize that the responsibilities of that role are largely universal. A boss is hired by a company in order to manage, lead and successfully complete the projects for which they’re responsible.
This commonality among bosses is good news for you, as it means you can apply the following practices to any new boss or superior and be certain of a good first impression.
1. Do Your Job
If you want to have a professional and rewarding relationship with your new boss, then the best way achieve that is to simply do your job to the best of your ability. If you are good at what you do, and you get to work on time, help others with their problems and put in that extra-effort on the project, your new boss will recognize your dedication.
While they may be getting used to the processes and culture at the company, new bosses tend to make quick judgments about their employees, usually by observation and word-of-mouth. Make sure that your impression is positive.
2. Be Empathetic
The first step to establishing a connection with your new boss is to acknowledge their humanity. Empathize with them; feel what they feel. It seems as if feeling empathy would be a given, but many people are quick to see things in black-and-white and miss the nuances.
Don’t demonize or overly praise your boss before you get to know them. Instead, try to see things through their eyes. They have stress to deal with just like you, only their stress might come from other sources. The moment you begin to empathize with the boss, you’ll become less judgmental and might even find that you like you new boss.
3. Learn How your Boss Communicates
What is your boss’ preferred mode of communication? There are many ways to disseminate information, from standup meetings to more formal meetings. Plus, there are myriad digital channels to communicate, such as email or collaboration tools. Find out which one the boss likes.
The Harvard Business Review suggests going further and finding out how your new boss makes decisions. Are they open to input and suggestion? This provides a valuable strategy for making a good impression. So, ask directly, and they will likely appreciate your candor and interest.
4. Check Your Attitude
A good boss, new or not, will respond to a positive attitude with appreciation. You want to avoid cynicism, whining, finger-pointing, skepticism and just acting like a know-it-all.
They don’t want someone who is constantly negative, but they don’t want a yes-man either. Try to be as enthusiastic and optimistic as possible, but sincerely. No one wants to feel as if they’re being played for a sucker.
While asking questions is important, and any boss worth their corner office will want feedback from their team, if you’re just being insolent and sapping people’s morale, you’re sure to make an impression on the boss, but it’ll be a bad one.
5. Know What Your Boss Wants from You
One of the first things to do when working under a new boss is to find out what their expectations are of you. But be prepared; that talk will likely get turned back on you. Be honest if your new boss asks what you expect of them. This creates a dialogue and a guide for your to work, letting you know what your target is and how you’re expected to hit it. Your new boss will like your candid engagement, and you will be remembered for it.
6. Take Initiative
Before you can make a good impression, your new boss needs to know who you are. There are many ways to get their attention, but few are as effective as stepping up and taking on more responsibilities or additional tasks. When a new project is getting started, volunteer to help in some capacity.
That doesn’t mean you want to overburden yourself. Know what you can do, and if you can do more, do it. The boss is going to notice and appreciate your assistance.
7. Be There for the Long Haul
No boss wants an employee who is constantly eyeballing the door, brushing up their resume and actively looking for other opportunities. While the trend is for workers to move from job to job without showing loyalty to one organization, at least be willing to think about work in the long-term.
Find out what the long-term goals and objectives of the company are, and then try to align your career aspirations and professional goals with them. If you’re there for the long haul, you’re going to show that you’re serious, which any boss will like, and it starts you on the road of trust because of that loyalty.
8. Don’t Resist Change
Your new boss might be landing in a work environment where everybody has their own way of doing things that they’ve gotten comfortable with. Then your new boss, seeking improvements, has different ideas on how to operate and creates a new work flow that you think is not as effective. Maybe you’re right, but take a moment to consider that you could be wrong.
Give your new boss the opportunity to do things as they want to and see how productive their directions prove. If their way reaps results, then you’ll get on the boss’ good side because of your commitment to the new plan. However, if the new ideas aren’t working, you’ll also make a good impression when you show them the benefits of the old way of doing things.
Here’s a bonus tip: introduce your boss to a tool that will help them manage better. ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based software for bosses who want real-time dashboards to monitor progress and track tasks. They’ll also love the collaborative features and the online Gantt chart, which take the hassle out of scheduling. Let them try it free with this 30-day trial.