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Questions To Ask Your New Boss

No matter how many years you’ve worked, starting a new job is often nerve-racking. There are so many unknowns to figure out, and one of the biggest questions are about your new boss. How can you set your relationship up for success?

Understanding Your New Boss’ Expectations

When you get a new boss, things are bound to change. Your new boss will most likely have different expectations for you and your team, a different view of your department’s direction, different ways of communicating, and different priorities than your previous boss. Part of managing your career is taking a proactive part in understanding what is expected of you by your new boss.

Beginning a new job is always a little overwhelming. Not only are you adjusting to a whole new project, office, and set of coworkers, you’re also trying to figure out what your boss wants and how to deliver it. The answer is the same as with getting to know anyone new in your life, whether socially or professionally—you start a conversation, you ask questions.

Of course, it’s not always easy to be the one starting a conversation, but establishing good rapport with your new boss will go a long way toward creating and maintaining a positive work environment. Talking with your boss is the best way to get valuable feedback on your performance, even when it is not annual review time. And, more times than not your relationship with your boss is one of the key factors in advancing your career.

While there’s no universal or simple formula for improving your ability to get along (and work effectively) with your new boss, the good news is that you will make a great deal of progress if you can ask the right questions. Here are a few questions you may want to take into consideration.

1. Who should I meet with outside of our team?

This is why office politics are so important; your ability to figure out how to influence others will improve if you can get to a quick understanding of the unspoken or informal networks that govern the social dynamics of your new team or organization. Your boss is ideally placed to provide you with this intel. 

2. What’s the best way to ask for your input and feedback?

Establishing a cadence where you can get regular feedback on how you are doing, even via 15-minutes weekly chats or regular email check-ins, will help you regulate and calibrate your efforts to improve your performance. 

3. What would you do if you were in my shoes?

This question will not just invite your manager to empathize with you — allowing them to see things from your perspective — it will also show them that you respect them and appreciate their expertise. No matter how logical or insightful their advice may be, it can create a good connection between the two of you and further deepen your understanding of how your manager thinks, feels, and acts.

4. How can I further develop my potential?

Great leaders excel at coaching and mentoring their people. You can nudge your boss to play this role by asking them to assess and develop your potential. This means going beyond your performance to focus also on what you could do. In a world that is increasingly pushing us to reskill and upskill, it is hard to underestimate the importance of expanding our horizons and being open to reimagining or reinventing our talents to future-proof our career. Incidentally, this question will also clarify the existing criteria for promotion and advancement, which will help you be objective and pragmatic about your plans (and will keep your boss honest).

5. What could I be doing better?

After a few weeks on the job, asking this question may encourage your boss to provide you with much-needed guidance for closing the gap between how you are performing and what your boss expects from you. In their attempt to avoid conflict and maintain positive morale, many managers find it hard to provide employees with negative evaluations, so wording your feedback request in this way can help them focus on your improvement areas. It also signals that you are eager to understand how you can get better, even if you are doing well. 

A final point to consider: every person is unique, including you and your new boss. Invariably, this means that some of these questions might not be be applicable given the situation and your growing relationship. But the general rule still stands: you will accelerate your career success if you can manage your boss better. This requires you to understand them better, and a deliberate strategy that starts with smart questions can help. 

Given our current situation knowing that your colleagues or employees are best suited for this new scenario we find ourselves in. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It is now important to find out whether your managers or your team is well-equipped of working together from various locations. It requires deep knowledge of their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you discover if your people are resilient during times of hardship, if they are autonomous, if they are team players, without actual human contact. Given that our platform is cloud-based, everyone can use it from home as well. Humanity finds itself at a crossroad for various reasons now, why not help people discover and develop themselves from the comfort of their own homes?

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Sources:

https://hbr.org/2021/10/7-questions-to-ask-your-new-boss
https://leadhonestly.com/blog/9-questions-to-get-to-know-your-boss
https://www.donnaschilder.com/blog/leadership-blog/questions-to-ask-your-new-boss-to-quickly-create-a-productive-relationship/

Does Philosophy have a place in today’s Business World?

Nowadays, it has become a common joke that a philosophy graduate’s most frequently used phrase is “Would you like some fries and a Coke with that?”, but is this an actual representation of the real world? Surprisingly, a study made by CNN has shown that only 5% of the people who recently got their philosophy diploma are facing problems in finding a job. On top of that, many renowned entrepreneurs like Reid Hoffman, Peter Thiel and Carly Fiorina are attributing their overall success to their education in philosophy.

All of this happens due to a huge shift in the business world: the abilities optimised for the globalist consumption and safe approaches of the past decade have been almost completely replaced by those required to thrive in this new uncertain and individualised business world. Therefore, abilities such as truly understanding the world, identifying the causal factors of day-to-day events, while also being able to make optimal decisions in new and unfamiliar situations have become the new  standards of performance.

How does studying philosophy develop those abilities? Well, the better question would be how could it not? Anyone who takes a peek into the area of modern philosophy would observe one common misconception: the falsehood of the fact that it’s all about wild speculation and realise that, actually, it focuses on well-structured arguments and counter-arguments. Apart from knowing and understanding what X philosopher said about Z problem – which, to some, might not seem particularly useful from a pragmatic point of view – you will also learn to identify, all by yourself, the weak spots of each and every argument. This process will conspicuously lead, in the end, to fully developed critical thinking skills. Whoever is lucky enough to have acquired this particular skillset will have no problems whatsoever in identifying and solving even the most complex organisational challenges.

Furthermore, during the process of studying philosophy, one will inevitably change their own fundamental system of beliefs about all the aspects of reality. This leads to the general mental state of constantly rechecking and analysing the truth and validity of every case in which your deductive line of reasoning could lead you to the wrong conclusions. That little amount of skepticism generates another essential byproduct: the ability to safely avoid the tendency towards rigidness of thought – a common feature of most managers in today’s world of business.

What more could this new business environment require of a potential entrepreneur or employee?

So, next time someone mentions the joke about philosophy majors, rather than getting angry, you could raise some doubts about the causal relationship between studying philosophy and earning minimum wage; maybe there are some underlying (psychological?!) causes that led them to this fallacious deductive reasoning.

 

Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295699

https://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/philosophy/academic-programs/undergrad/ourgraduates1.html

http://bigthink.com/experts-corner/why-future-business-leaders-need-philosophy

http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/29/news/economy/recent-college-graduates-job-new-york-federal-reserve/

Dealing With Stress, Step 2: Feelings are natural

(This article is a part of a series; please start here)

Feelings are natural, they are not a flaw. We are wired to feel down, empty, nervous, anxious or furious. Don’t blame yourself.

When you’re happy, content or joyous you never second-guess your feelings, do you? Why would you do that when you’re down, adding a supplementary layer of negative? Aren’t they all the same: feelings?

It bugged me since I was a kid, hearing “You shouldn’t feel [down, unhappy, sad], think of all the kids out there who don’t have half of what you have!” I couldn’t point out why, but I was (at least) annoyed. It was like my feelings should have had some kind of universal scale of measurement and go through a global referendum, in order for said feelings to be “valid”.

Nature wired us for feeling emotions. “Bad” emotions are like “bad” breathing – they don’t exist. Fury, anger, sadness, desperation – all are natural. They are what they are and they make you feel what they make you feel. You cannot deny, choke or feint them – at least not forever. They are your emotions, and are natural (acting on them is another thing entirely…).

You don’t have to feel anything. What you feel is what you feel. Numbness is what should get you worried.

So, let feelings be. They are Mother Nature’s way of letting us know something isn’t quite right. Just like breaking the bulb of an alarm lamp does not make things right, denying feelings serves no purpose. Notice your feelings, give them names, get friendly with them. Just don’t act on them.

Read part 3

Do you want to find out more? Get in touch with a consultant now or request a free demo!

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By Catalin Octavian Blaga – Trainer Great People Inside

Trainer who turns business experience and psychology into impacting training programs… and more!  You can find out more about Catalin by clicking here