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A good place to prioritise your efforts when joining a new organisation is in building a relationship with your manager. He will ultimately help develop your career so building a good rapport is essential. Below are a few pointers on how to go about this:
• Start with an open mind. The leadership style of your previous manager will obviously help shape your expectations, but try to be open and adapt to the different style of your new manager. You may find that he starts off more involved, but gives you more autonomy once you become more established in your role.
• Clarify expectations. Clarify mutual expectations early and often. Explore short-term versus long-term expectations and how and when your performance will be measured. If not offered at the outset, you should ask for a weekly catch-up in the first few months into your role. There is no harm in asking.
• Look for style clues. Observe your manager’s behaviour. Does he arrive early, or work late in the office? Does he expect the same? Find out if he prefers to interact face-to-face, via email or through phone. Explore what decisions are to be consulted on and when you are free to make the call alone.
• Be a team player. Your manager’s goal is not only to develop you as an individual, but also to develop a well-performing team, so investing in relationships with your colleagues will also contribute to your relationship with your manager. Try to attend as many social activities as you can with your team members within your first three months.
Take responsibility for making your relationship with your manager work. It will definitely pay off!
• Clarify expectations early on, how performance is measured
• Observe the company culture to give you a handle on things
• Lighten your manager’s load by volunteering to do some tasks
Source: James Wakefield, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is Managing Director, Cobalt Recruitment