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Strategies to Deal With New Boss – When you join an organization, you always don’t get to meet your new boss during interviews. Very few are able to do that. If you’re lucky you may get the last round of interview with him/her, but judging a person within few minutes is not an easy task.
So, to help you deal with the new boss, we need to assume few things.
- First, it’s assumed that your new boss is a difficult person to deal with. Why we’re making this assumption? It’s because if your new boss is easy to deal with then you may not need to read this sort of article.
- Second, it’s also assumed that you’re overwhelmed with the position you have been offered and don’t have a clue how to approach your new boss so you can create a lasting impression on him/her.
- Third, you are more emotional and sensitive as a person and even a minor criticism hurts your core. So if your new boss remarks something on you or your persona or your work, you take things into heart.
The reason for which we’re assuming these extremes is because nothing can go beyond these three assumptions when you join a new job and face your new boss. And it would be easier on our part as well also to help you succeed in your new job and also to create a great impression on your new boss.
First things first
To be able to effectively deal with your new boss, you need to know few things. If you apply these things first, applying the strategies below will be much easier. Let’s look at the few things which will ease up the tension within you and you would be perfectly ready to deal with your new boss.
Remember we’re assuming the above three which we mentioned before.
Imagining your new boss is tough to deal with, it can easily be said that your new boss lies within a very minor portion of all new bosses put together. There are very few good new bosses and very few difficult bosses. More than 90% of bosses lie in between them. So, remember when you’re dealing with your difficult new boss, you’re dealing with someone who is a minority in the field. Realizing this will ease of your tension and will make you calmer.
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Strategy vs. Emotion
When someone joins the organization, it’s natural to get scared and get panicky time to time. Because when you join, everything is new and you don’t know how to deal with these situations. But remember, even if you are very emotional and sensitive, you need to think more of strategy than emotion while dealing with your new boss. “My new boss is a blah blah blah” will not solve the problem. Rather you need to calm down and strategize about how to deal with new boss.
Examine the new situation
Instead of panicking, just relax and observe. Having a difficult new boss is one part of the whole job. Your job, benefits, co-workers, growth opportunities and treatment from other supervisors and top management may be good. So, instead of judging your new job through your new boss is a foolish idea. Think of things about why you joined this job at the first place.
Don’t think that your new boss is very difficult to deal with. Think from a distance. Ask yourself why s/he is difficult to deal with. What is the problem of your new boss? If you dig, you would find that maybe your new boss is pressurized by his/her boss or from childhood s/he was not dealt with love. So, try to be compassionate. It’s hard. But with new information about your new boss will help you become more empathetic to him/her.
Instead of blaming your new boss about why s/he is being difficult with you, ask yourself are you part of the problem? Does s/he deal with others in the similar way or just with you? Do you have any habit that makes your new boss super-angry? Go within and find out. Observe yourself for a week. If you don’t find anything within you which is wrong, then you would be sure that the problem doesn’t lie on your side.
Strategies to deal with your new boss
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Having mentioned the above pointers, now it’s time to articulate the strategies so that you can deal with your boss far more effectively.
Strategy 1 : Prepare yourself for the engagement
If you know in your heart that this job is good and can offer you growth opportunities in your career, you won’t like to get stopped by one person, yes, you guessed it right, your new boss. So what to do in that case?
First of all, you need to deal with your new boss day in and day out, even when you don’t want. And secondly, you need to report to him/her about your progress whether you care or not.
So, it’s better to take an approach that will help you work with your new boss.
Here’s what you should do for an effective engagement with your new boss.
- Find out few commonalities between you and your new boss. They may be very few, but list them down and plan to talk about it quite often. If you can talk about things you both like during lunch or any coffee break, the difficult air between you and your new boss will go away. You will be able to become freer in talking to him/her and asking for his/her guidance.
- Even if you don’t like the way your new boss deals with you, find something about him/her that you may like. May be his/her passion is to play a particular instrument. Ask him/her about how to play the instrument. This is to connect with the deepest core of your boss. If you can touch the string, s/he will be easier with you.
Strategy 2 : Find out something you can learn from your new boss
It’s easy to find something from your new boss. As s/he is your new boss, there is something that has made him/her your boss. So, find one or two things that you can learn from him/her. Here’s how you should approach the whole situation.
- Take a five minute meeting with your boss. Don’t do it often. Twice in a week is ideal. In that meeting, you need to prove three things –
- First, make sure that you want to know how your boss thinks about your current work.
- Second, ask him/her about one thing you can improve to deliver better results
- Third, tell him/her that you want to learn a particular thing from him/her
- Notice your new boss very carefully. Don’t skip it. When you will notice his/her moves you will see that even if s/he is very difficult to deal with, s/he has something (maybe organizational skills or getting things done quickly by other people) that you can learn. The best time to learn a new skill from your new boss is after work. Take 15-20 minutes after work and ask your new boss whether you can learn the basics of a particular thing if s/he is not busy. S/he may say no. But try again until you can get to sit with him/her and learn. This will improve the relationship between you and your boss.
Strategy 3 : Thank your new boss quite often and talk good about him/her behind his/her back
Now the above strategy may work or may not. But you need to be willing to make it work. If the five minute meeting and being curious work with your boss, well and good; otherwise, you need to bend the strategy to get his/her attention. Why attention is important? Even if your new boss is difficult to deal with, s/he is human first.
Here’s what you should do to bend the strategy.
- Even if there’s little room for saying ‘thank you’ to your boss, find minor things and say ‘thank you.’ If you don’t get anything to talk about, simply add a ‘thank you’ note once in a while with your email regarding work. You can say like – “Thank you for the opportunity to work you.” Even this line will do wonder.
- If your new boss is really difficult to deal with s/he has earned much reputations of being bad among other people. Work on repairing it. Find good things about your new boss and talk in public about those good things. You can speak like – “You all may not like how s/he treats you, but s/he has a heart of gold. Every month s/he pays 5% of his/her salary to charity. I like that about him/her.” If you do it quite often, there will be two things that will happen.
- First, the reputation of your new boss will improve and your words will at least make other people think about their perception of your new boss.
- Second, your new boss will get to know that you’re the person who is talking good about him/her always in public. This will improve your relationship with him/her.
Strategy 4 : Find someone who can help you deal with your new boss
If the above strategy doesn’t work or work in bits and pieces, you need help from someone who is a senior in this organization. Understand that you can’t blame or complain against your new boss to him/her but you will learn the things that you need to learn from him/her so that you can deal with your boss effectively. Here’s how.
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- Talk to that senior person that you want to learn a thing or two from him/her which can help you get good at certain skills. Make sure you find someone who is extremely good with people. Ask them how they do it. And learn.
- Once you learn the things, apply and see whether they work or not. If you find any difficulty ask him/her and also ask for his/her guidance in that particular situation.
- In most cases, senior people are always ready to teach. But make sure of two things – One, s/he is not taking advantage of you in ways (meaning s/he is not sharing everything you say with your boss). Thus, it’s important for you not to take any name during your conversation even after seeing that s/he is trustworthy.
Strategy 5 : Break food with your new boss
This is a great strategy and this thing always works irrespective of people and their differences. Here’s how you should approach the whole situation.
- Find out what your boss likes to eat. You can ask your senior colleagues. Don’t make it look obvious. Ask in between a conversation regarding food.
- If you’re good cook, you can prepare the food by yourself or you can order it. Then eat together with your boss. There is nothing powerful than breaking the food with someone who is difficult to deal with. It eases up the tension between you and begins to create a harmonious relationship.
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- Now, many of you may think that it’s a sort of oiling your new boss. But it’s not. You don’t need to disrespect yourself to do that. See, you need to work in your current organization for some time and it’s obvious that if you need to work here, you also need to deal with your boss always. Why not make an effort to create a harmonious relationship where your self-respect is not at stake?
Use these above strategies and see whether you are able to effectively deal with your new boss or not. Yes, we know that everything will not work out for everyone. Pick something that speaks to you and discard the other/s.
A word of advice: Don’t pick everything at once. Try one at a time. Decide a time period, maybe a month. For one month, implement one strategy. See whether it works or not. If it works keep on doing. If not, go to the next and see for one month again. See again whether it works or not. In this way try all (if you’re open). We assure you that one or two strategies above will definitely work in regards to dealing with your difficult new boss.