Five tips to connect with a new boss

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The relationship with your boss is an important one as it can lead to growth opportunities both inside and outside of the organization you currently work for and overall provide for a fulfilling experience. As the need for collaboration among business units and companies is increasingly becoming the norm, having a great relationship with your boss can increase your chances of being selected to represent your area on projects like these that can allow you to both learn and grow.

In my personal experience, I had a boss recommend me for a position at another company years after I had worked for him. A truth we hear quite often is that change is the only constant and therefore it is a wise move to assure all your professional relationships remain as positive as possible. Everyone is virtually connected via a LinkedIn message, email or phone call and feedback can make or break a career opportunity.

In an ideal scenario, you and our boss should both feel valued and supported by each other. However, getting to that point will consist of effort on your part and so below are five tips that can assist you in connecting with your new boss.

  1. Educate yourself on your boss’s background

    Take the time to learn about your boss’s background. If they have a LinkedIn profile, connect with them and review it. If they do not, attempt to find some information on their experience via colleagues if their past experience has been at your place of employment. This will prepare you for future conversations and expectations.

  2. Set up an initial chat

    If your boss happens to be new to the company or department, this might not happen right way as they also have a new boss and will need to get acclimated to their new surroundings and position. If you happen to be the new person, initiate a chat once you’ve settled if one hasn’t been set up already. This should be an opportunity to get to know your boss, ask questions and set expectations.

  3. Ask key questions

    When you meet, be prepared to ask important questions that will assist in making sure you are successful in your role and can begin to add value. Some great questions to ask are what is their biggest challenge now, what is their preferred method of communication, especially when an answer is expected from them and what are their biggest priorities at the moment.

  4. Listen

    This is extremely important, especially at the beginning of a new job as there is a lot of information you can use to understand your new boss’s management style and ways of working. Be attentive in not just your 1:1 meetings but in all meetings and interactions.

  5. Be proactive

    Try to put yourself in your boss’s shoes and if there is information that they should know, always be proactive in sharing it. This information includes challenges you can foresee, ideas or potential solutions to problems.

The overall goal is to make an effort to ensure your boss feels that you are committed to supporting them and the team overall. If you have a question or are interested in learning more, connect with me.

RJ Johns