How to Be Successful With Your New Manager

Woman and man seated across a desk shaking hands.

Whether your manager is new because of a new job or because they are the new manager at your current work, it’s important to get off to a good start. If you make a good first impression and forge a productive working relationship, you could deepen your job satisfaction and advance your career. Try these strategies to be successful with a new manager.

  1. Meet regularly. Schedule an introductory meeting as early as possible and check in on an ongoing basis. Bi-weekly or monthly are a good rhythm if you are asked how often you would like to meet.
  2. Clarify expectations. Prevent missteps by finding out what your manager regards as top priorities. Discuss the level of involvement they feel comfortable with and what forms of communication will serve you best, whether it’s texting, emails, or talking face to face. In any discussions, make sure to say “this is what I heard you say….” to eliminate any possible miscommunication or errors.
  3. Professional Development. Be clear with yourself what are your near and long-term goals. Then discuss them with your manager to make sure they are aware, clear, and in your corner. Discuss your goals/progress with your manager at least quarterly.
  4. Offer assistance. Let your manager take the lead, and also try to anticipate their needs. You have valuable experience and insider information to contribute that could be critical to meeting your mutual goals.
  5. Display enthusiasm. Go the extra mile to exceed expectations. Maintaining a positive attitude can reduce stress during challenging transitions.
  6. Put yourself in their shoes. What would they want from a direct report? When bringing an issue, when possible, bring a solution. Show them you are a creative problem solver.
  1. Be judicious about disclosing personal information. Allow rapport to develop gradually and naturally. Stick to business and small talk until you get to know each other better. After that, take their lead on how they view the relationship.
  2. Be flexible. Flexibility is key to any successful relationship, be it work or personal. Learn what your manager likes and doesn’t like. Adapting to their style, within reason, is always appreciated.

You have a lot at stake when you have a new manager. It’s natural to feel a little apprehensive but taking the initiative to clarify expectations and maintain open communications can help you both create a successful working relationship.

If you would like help exploring this issue or others, please reach out!