We have all been ‘The new boy or girl’ at some point, but for many people it can be difficult to remember what it was like settling in to your very first job, or finding your feet with a new work role. No matter if this is your first experience of being in the workplace, or you are starting a new job, it is of great importance to establish a good working relationship with your manager from day one.
It can be hard to get to grips with working in a new environment as well as having to start building relationships with your work colleagues at the same time, but establishing a sense of trust with your manager should be your priority, especially for recent graduates.
The relationship you develop with your boss is going to be the most crucial one to foster if you want to see your career progression go according to plan. No one wants to be left stuck in a rut on the first rung of the ladder and constantly be overlooked for promotions or extra responsibilities that are essential steps to boosting your career.
Many people starting a new job will be so wrapped up with learning how to perform their role and building good relationships with other people in their workplace that they may miss their first chance to make a good impression with their manager. This can mean them becoming lost in a sea of faces and never really standing out from the crowd.
Why you need to form a strong bond with your manager
Just like when you start out on any new relationships with friends and work colleagues, you begin with a friendly approach and are happy to accommodate each others needs. However, like all relationships there will be times of pressure and stress where you might not agree about things, but it all usually works out well in the end.
Your relationship with your boss can be a bit more complicated. You may be working for someone who is a good few years older than you, or your boss is someone who you don’t share the same tastes or lifestyle with. This can sometimes be frustrating or even feel intimidating. But this is exactly why you should be making an extra effort to bridge any significant gaps between you to build a relationship of trust and reliability rather than a relationship based on shared likes or interests.
A good understanding and appreciation of your differences will help you understand their point of view and why their mind may work differently from your own. This will help you to better weather any inevitable storms that you have to face at work and will greatly improve your quality of life in the workplace. Instead of getting frustrated or angry about a situation that arises, you will be able to see the issues from their point of view and understand how best to deliver a solution that they will appreciate.
Here are some ideas about building strong bonds with your manager:
Understand and appreciate their skill set
Your manager may have skills that enable them to work out and solve problems that may completely stump others. Or they could have a knack of being able to talk to people from all walks of life from very different backgrounds with great ease and aplomb. Whatever their strengths, you are in a great position to learn from them and figure out how to overlap your skills with theirs to deliver results that are not only useful, but understood by both of you.
Understand their goals
Knowing your managers goals and targets can be very useful. It is your job to make your boss a success, so by knowing exactly what they want you to deliver and how they measure your performance will give you great insight. The methods you were taught at college or university may not exactly match with how your boss does things. It may be that by picking and combining the best elements from your schooling and training with your manager’s tried and tested methods for getting the job done can actually give you a workable solution that you both understand and can both mutually benefit from. This flexible approach you take with your boss can really help to foster trust between you. Knowing that you can be relied upon to deliver under pressure will stand you in good stead for the future.
Establish a delivery method
It can be really difficult to know what to deliver and how to provide information if you only have sketchy or vague guidelines to follow. By setting up a meeting to clarify and confirm a defined delivery method your will be saving yourself a lot of uncertainty as well as dithering about compiling results in many different ways because you are unsure of exactly how they should be delivered. Ask your boss if they want to know your conclusion up front before the breakdown of details, or left at the end as a summery? Do they prefer a hard copy of your information presented on paper in a binder, or would they prefer an electronic copy? Do they want spreadsheets or slides to back everything up? Do they want the work submitted well in advance of the deadline, or shortly before? Setting up a well defined delivery system can save you from the unexpected, and will also clarify how long you have to spend on a project before you need to submit it.
We are not suggesting that you become best friends with your boss, but by learning who they are and appreciating their skills and experience, you can build a more meaningful relationship with them where communications are clearer and trust is built.