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Insightful ideas on how to win over your new boss?

We all go through life seeking approval from our boss, manager, and teachers, especially in the early days of a new job. For many reasons the early days of a new job are the critical stage in building relationships with an organisation and boss and can have a disproportionate effect on an employee’s success or failure.

Typically, when an employee fails or performs poorly, managers often do not blame themselves, they commonly blame the individual for ‘not understanding the work, ‘technically not capable’, ‘lacking in direction, ‘not able to set priorities’ etc – all of which may be true, but sometimes, an employee’s performance can be largely reflect their manager’s performance.

Therefore, getting off on the right footing with a new manager can set the tone and working relationship for the years ahead, and the success or failure of that job.

“It is critical to have a strong, and healthy relationship with your manager for numerous reasons.” says Brett Longden, Senior Consultant at Redline Group. “Obviously that person can hold the advancement within the company, but most importantly they influence the workplace stress, whether real or otherwise, and the excitement or dread an individual may experience in going to work every which may impact one’s health”.

So, if you want to improve your future success there are three areas to focus on: undertake quality work; assist and support your boss in accomplishing their goals and objectives; offer solutions to win approval. In short, make their life easier.

You may have noticed that if you want a toddler to eat their vegetables, asking “do you want peas or carrots?” works wonders.

If you want to develop your relationship with your boss, try a similar technique. Try and offer more than one solution to a problem, especially when you can offer them two or three options. You’ll often find this is an instant passport to a positive level of trust.

Why? Because almost every boss shares the same issues: loss of control and not meeting their agreed objectives. Think about how promotion works: your boss has gone from doing the actual work, to managing the people who do the actual work, to managing the managers of the managers. They used to be able to solve day to day problems themselves. Now, if they want anything fixed, they must go through layers of people to ensure employees get the correct message and execute accordingly.

This means problems make people anxious – and problems are inevitable even in the best-run organisation. You know that when you run a problem past your boss, you should also come equipped with a solution. But if you only present one solution, you’re touching their ‘loss of control’ buttons. You’re telling them, “You don’t get to decide how we fix this problem. All you can do is sign off on my decision.” When you let your boss choose from two or three solutions instead, you accomplish two important things.

Firstly, you let them contribute in a way that makes a real difference and everyone likes the feeling of solving real problems.

Secondly, you don’t make them feel as if an agenda is being forced on them, so they won’t feel defensive. (That’s also why offering a toddler a choice of vegetables will make you less likely to get peas thrown at you).

This is a big win for your boss and an even bigger win for you. Below are some starter tips for making your manager’s life—and job easier.

Do your job and do it well.

It may seem obvious, but plenty of employees fail to accomplish the basic tasks that are required If you make a diligent effort and do a good job, your boss will be impressed.

Show eagerness to learn

Moreover, those who always want to learn new things are more likely to become knowledgeable and expert at their work.

Realise your boss is human and that their job isn’t easy

Remember, your boss is responsible for many things, some of which you likely don’t even know about. Give your boss the benefit of the doubt when you can.

Really get to know your boss.

Make sure you are meeting their priorities. Ask your boss if they like to correspond by phone, e-mail or in person. Find out how often they want status updates from you and figure out how much detail they want in those updates. Great communication is vital for building a strong relationship.

Assist and support your boss’s professional goals.

A primary job of any employee is to make the boss’s life easier.  And just like you, your boss has professional goals that they are trying to accomplish,

Take the initiative with projects and assignments.

Volunteer to take on new projects, but don’t overload yourself.

Seek solutions to problems.

Don’t rely on your boss to fix everything. When a problem arises do not just point it out, instead recommend a solution.

Accept your mistakes

A mistake or error can be made while working in an organisation. Mistakes will often make you a better employee. You are more likely to avoid them next time.

Be a team player

Having a team player is something a boss wants and every organisation desires. A task can never be completed as efficiently as it can be done with a team. So, working in a team is not only best for an individual, but a company too.

Find shared interests

As you get to know your new manager, identify any interests you share with them.

Whichever way you decide what the best ways are to impress your new boss, be eager and genuinely invested.

Redline Group enables high-technology companies to build world-class teams through knowledge-led recruitment across Permanent, Contract & Interim and Executive Search. We have helped thousands of companies to identify, attract, select, and secure professional and qualified candidates for over 40 years.

For more information regarding how we can help your business grow, contact Redline Group on 01582 450054 or email


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