3 Ways to Win Over Your New Boss

Last Updated Aug 13, 2009 11:20 PM EDT

What's a surefire way to get on your new boss's good side? Scott Eblin offers three great techniques for transitioning to a new manager -- something most of us will face multiple times in our careers.
  1. Ask for directions. No, not a step-by-step breakdown of how to do your work -- rather, a big-picture overview of what your new boss's direction or vision for success looks like. Take the time to get clarification of what he wants, what he expects, and what he hopes will be the end result.
  2. Find out how he wants to be kept informed. Some bosses needs lots of check-in time. Others want you to bother them only in case of emergency. Guess wrong as to which type your new manager might be and you can be in trouble pretty fast. So ask how he wants to be kept in the loop.
  3. Put yourself in their shoes. Ask three questions and try to answer them from the perspective of your boss: What am I thinking? How am I feeling? What do I want? Coming up with some thoughtful responses to those questions should give you a broader perspective, says Eblin, which can help you influence your new boss.
And a bonus technique that's worked well for me: Employ a "can do" attitude, no matter how daunting your boss's request may seem. It's better to say "I'm on it, and I'll do my best to make this work" than to say "I don't think I can do this."

What other tips do you have for making a good early impression with a new manager? Share your ideas in the comments section.
  • CC Holland

    CC Holland is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of national magazines. Online, she was a columnist for AnchorDesk.com and writes regularly for Law.com and BNET. On the other side of the journalism desk, she's been a managing editor for ZDNet, CNet, and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, where she earned an APTRA Best News Web Site award.

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