Six ways to start off right with a new boss

Observation, honesty, and truth all factor in

An initial meeting with a new boss can feel both crucial and stressful, but one industry expert says a few tips can help you smoothly navigate the encounter, reports Harvard Business Review.

Tom Gilmore, a Center for Applied Research principal, summed up six ways to ensure early meetings foster a successful relationship.

1. Ease in. Cover only very important issues that will help form an "effective alliance." More in-depth discussions can take place later on.

2. Watch and learn. Observe the boss to determine his or her preferred communication and presentation styles—such as long or short discussions, multiple options or one recommendation, soft or hard data.

3. Accommodate. Along the same lines, learn the ways he or she prefers to work. If say, he or she frequently delegates, pitch a weekly meeting to go over workloads and assignments. Tailor the system to the new boss's quirks.

4. Think big picture. As the boss, he or she is balancing multiple agendas from others. Consider the others and "highlight how your issues fit into those overall priorities."

5. Include others. Source opinions from a group, not just the boss.

6. Be truthful. "Most leaders understand the difficult of speaking truth to power," so take an opportunity if it arises, such as diplomatically pointing out ways to facilitate cooperation between two unit heads who do not work well together (McCreary, Harvard Business Review, 12/10).

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