By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter
It has been said there is but one constant, and that is change. Some live for it, while others fight it tooth and nail. Change can be at once exciting and frightening. Amazing how often those two words interconnect, isn't it?
When that change involves a new boss, don't fret. If you stay on the same job long enough, eventually you will experience this transition. Here are a few simple suggestions for those who embrace it and those not as likely to.
1. Be welcoming.
Whether they are brand new to the company or were recently promoted from your own peer group, treat them as you would hope to be treated. Remember, this is a change for them as well, so put yourself in their shoes and help things get off on the right foot.
2. Be open-minded.
They may do things a little different from what you're used to, but someone decided they were what your department needed. Don't be too quick to judge or criticize their managerial style. Given a chance they may delight you with the changes they make.
3. Don't draw comparisons.
Your new manager is not your old manager. Drawing unfair or unflattering comparisons between the two does little to smooth the transition. It does, however, prove a certain immaturity that most likely won't be tolerated for long.
Your office systems may be alien to them. Be willing to pitch in when needed. Being the "go-to" person for your new boss isn't a bad thing.
5. Give them space.
It may take a day or two for them to get comfortable with their new environment. Be available to answer questions, but keep your distance. The last thing any new manager needs is someone breathing down their necks asking a million personal questions or basically just being a pest. Don't be "that" guy or girl.
6. Don't take advantage.
This person is not your substitute teacher from high school. They are a highly trained professional charged with running your department. You might get away with two-hour lunches and coming in late for a day or two, but it will catch up to you and the fallout may be much worse than a trip to the principal's office.
7. Save the flattery.
Constantly fawning over your new boss will get you plenty of attention. However, most of it will be negative. Gain favor by being a solid team member, not by trying to win a popularity contest.
Lying about your duties and skills will eventually be brought to light. Your new manager most likely has been prepped with information about their department so attempting to give yourself a lighter work schedule or more responsibilities in an attempt to impress them will backfire worse than a worn-out musket.
9. Don't quit.
A managerial change may cause you a certain amount of angst, but try to keep your emotions in check. Even a good change can seem painful at first. Give it time before making a decision you can't reverse.
10. Don't be resentful.
If you feel you were qualified for this position and were passed over, showing your resentment will be the fastest way to be shown the door. The choice has been made, and if you value your current position, respect that decision. Your bad attitude won't change anything except what people think of YOU.
Coming to grips with a change that affects your work environment can be one of the most trying times of your adult life. How you deal with it is up to you.
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