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How to Survive Your (New) Boss

Getting off on the right foot with your new boss is key to thriving at work. An employee-boss relationship is a two-way street, and effort needs to be made from both sides. Here is how you can survive your new boss without any fatal blunders!

By Aditi Mudgal
29 Oct 2022

The lengthy acquisition of Twitter was sealed with a simple tweet, ‘the bird is freed’. Big changes soon followed as top executives were let go one after another by new owner Elon Musk. As CEO Parag Agrawal and others bid farewell to Twitter, other employees have begun to adapt to the sudden change in leadership.

A new boss can signal changes in your organisation, and with the right perspective, it can be an opportunity for you to begin anew with a (mostly) blank slate. While this can change the status quo in your department, it doesn’t always have to be doom and gloom. A change in leadership may provide you with avenues of growth that weren’t available before. It can enable you to evolve in a new workplace environment, perhaps even into a new role.

Transitioning into a different working situation with your new boss can be a learning curve, but handling it right is key for you to thrive in your role. Here is how you can navigate working with a new boss without setting off any alarm bells:

 

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Establish Expectations and Goals

Setting goals and clarifying expectations with your new boss enables clarity and transparency on both sides. Perhaps your new boss envisions a larger role for you in the team, and this can come with new expectations. Understanding what these expectations are is crucial to ensuring that work is being done in sync without any room for misunderstandings.

Your boss may also take this opportunity to ask you if you have any complaints or expectations from your current role. Being clear about what is missing from your job role and your goals moving forward is vital for a flourishing relationship. It is also the ideal opportunity for you to clear the room about any potential problems you may face with your boss, so boundaries are clear on both sides.

 

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Avoid Office Gossip

Any workplace is bound to be rife with gossip following a change, but you must not indulge in it. Your boss is simply another individual with their own history and personality. Your colleagues may react favourably or unfavourably to their presence, but that shouldn’t be your business. Becoming a part of the gossip mill and using your new boss as fodder is not conducive to your mental health or career.

Conversely, you also don’t want to indulge in gossip and office drama with your new boss. It might be tempting to unload what’s going on within the office in a bid to earn brownie points, but it can set the wrong impression. It’s also not the sort of professional behaviour you want to be showing, and might end up discrediting you in their eyes.

 

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Retain Objectivity

With a new boss, changes are bound to occur, whether it’s departmental or organisational. It’s important to remember that there are no personal motives or feelings involved, as your boss may also be entirely new to the organisation. Professional decisions have to be taken, and these can mean letting go of some and promoting others.

The recent changes at Twitter have revealed that job security can be at jeopardy when bosses change, but it’s also an opportunity in disguise. Your new boss may be someone who has no connection to you, and you have the ability to set the narrative between the two of you in a positive light. Retain objectivity regardless of what others say about ochanges, as you don’t know what these changes can imply for your role. It’s best to simply sit back and observe. You can act once you have clarity on your new boss, the workplace environment and what it will signify for you.

 

Adapt and Evolve Your Working Style

Every individual has their own style of working, and what worked for your old boss may not necessarily work for your new one. Being open to evolving your working style will help keep you in sync with your new boss.

Thriving in your current role means that you have to adapt and evolve where necessary, and avoiding ego clashes is crucial to a harmonious working environment. You may find that working with a new boss is just the motivation you need to go the extra mile. They can bring in a fresh perspective and encourage you to work harder towards an established role and rewards.

Adapting your working style and growing your skill-set with a new boss can also help you achieve more professionally, so being open to change is never a bad thing.

 

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Ask Questions and Offer Help

If you’re aware that a change in leadership is coming, and you know who it is, there’s no harm in familiarising yourself beforehand. A simple Google (or LinkedIn) search can lead to information that helps you understand your new boss’ past and what matters to them.

Understanding what makes your boss tick can be a huge benefit when it comes to maintaining a cordial relationship with them. If you can, arrange for a one-on-one meeting where you can ask about their preferences when it comes to meetings, emails and other professional aspects.

 

Your new boss might be experienced in the field, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t require a helping hand while adjusting to their new workplace. Guide them to the pantry, ensure that they know the ‘right’ way to use the eccentric office printer and much more. You can help them in many aspects without smothering them.

When it comes down to it, your new boss is human, just like the rest of us. They may seem infallible, but a little kindness and understanding can put you on the path of a good working relationship with them. Both you and your boss may be committed to establishing a good working environment, and taking these cues can help you build a great future together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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