The relationship that you have with your boss really matters. If you get along, you’re more likely to enjoy your job; if you don’t, you’re more likely to leave.
As the saying goes, people quit bosses, not jobs. So, how do you get started on the right foot with a new boss?
First impressions matter in a big way. Whether good or bad, they tend to stick. So, you want to establish the best relationship possible with your new boss. Whether you’re new to the company or working for your boss, there are some things you can do to help make a positive first impression.
1. Be excellent
Your boss is going to judge you primarily by your performance at work and by your contribution to the company. So, the best thing you can do to build your relationship is to focus on being fantastic at your job.
Meet deadlines on time or ahead of schedule. Do everything to the best of your ability. Be willing to help others and be a great team player in general. Your new boss is sure to notice pretty quickly. Your reputation might even proceed you.
2. Be polite and professional
You should always be polite and professional with your boss. This is especially true when making a first impression.
A good professional handshake goes a long way. A bad one speaks volumes, too. So, be sure to stand up (never stay seated) and initiate the right kind of handshake when you first meet.
You don’t have to be too buttoned up, though. Smile and show the warmer side of your personality. Smiling makes others feel good, most will return the gesture. And, smiling will help you to relax a little too.
3. Be tough
If you’ve ever supervised others, you know how draining it can be to tiptoe around someone’s feelings when trying to give feedback. One way to get on your boss’s good side, right from the beginning, is to show that they can be authentic with you. Let your boss know, through your words and actions, that you look forward to their guidance and feedback.
“My favorite employees are the ones I can be real with. That is what makes an employee stand out: no [BS], no excuses and no tiptoeing around each other,” Nicole Caldwell, an editor and small business owner, told NBC News. “If I can’t have lunch with an employee, laugh with, be there for them and also push [them] to constantly improve, it makes working together significantly less fun.”
4. Look professional
It’s a shame that we live in a world that is so focused on appearances. But, at the end of the day, the visual impression you leave will make a mark first, so it’s something you should be aware of. So, dress professionally for that first meeting, maybe a little less casually than you might on any other day.
Pay attention to the way you carry yourself. Hold your head up high and don’t cross your arms in front of your chest. Your body language can demonstrate trustworthiness, and it can also send the opposite message. So, be mindful of this element of your presentation throughout your first few meetings.
5. Exude confidence
Cowering before a new boss isn’t going to make a great impression. Your boss wants workers who are competent and capable. You might feel a little nervous when first meeting, so take a few deep breaths beforehand and remind yourself to talk slowly.
Speaking calmly and making eye contact shows confidence. Also, prepare to ask your boss a few questions. You could ask about their professional background a bit, or other experiences your boss has had in the industry. This demonstrates your confidence as well as your interest and preparedness.
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