Adjusting to a new manager who abruptly takes over for a former one you worked well with can be challenging. Here's how to cope.
Advice

4 ways to adjust to a new management style when you suddenly get a new manager

Adjusting to a new manager who abruptly takes over for a former one you worked well with can be challenging — here’s how to cope.

Have an open mind

This is definitely easier said than done. That being said, you have the right to be anxious and wonder about the unknown, but give this new boss the benefit of the doubt where you can.

When they first take over on your team, pay attention to how they act, what they say and what’s left unsaid — but also give them a chance to warm up before jumping to major conclusions.

Take their communication style into account

Chances are, you’ll need to relay information to them a lot, so you’re better off learning about their preferences upfront.

Martha C. White features advice from Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, in TIME Money.

“’One of the most common sources of workplace conflict is miscommunication, so make the effort to understand your boss’s communication style right off the bat,’ Haefner says. ‘Depending on how different it is from your previous boss’s, it may take some getting used to,’ she cautions, but this is an adjustment you can’t afford not to make. Find out if she prefers face-to-face updates or email (or even instant messaging), and proceed accordingly,” White writes.

Recognize that things may operate differently this time around

This is inevitable, so you’ll want to get comfortable with it — just keep your eyes peeled.

Alan Henry answers a question in Lifehacker about how to work with a new supervisor.

One of his points is to “prepare for change.”

“It goes with the territory, but the first thing to understand is that things are going to be different. No one likes change, and a lot of the initial discomfort of working under new management comes from sheer resistance to it,” Henry writes. “Even if the change is good, it’s still not going to be what you’re used to. If you accept that things are going to be different out of the gate, you give yourself the flexibility to adjust to what’s going to come next. Don’t expect your new boss to just fit into your old boss’s mold—it’s just not going to happen. There will be growing pains.”

Contribute something new

Freelance writer and editor Sara McCord writes in The Muse about what “smart people” do when a new manager takes over, and one of the points is “they pitch fresh ideas.”

“When someone steps into a management role, they’re looking for ways to keep moving the team forward. So it’s an opportunity for you to share ideas you have for innovations or new ways you can contribute,” McCord writes. “So, schedule a meeting and prep for it by brainstorming any areas for improvement. Is there anything you think could be streamlined (or worth experimenting with)? Do you have an idea to advance a team initiative?”