I love the work that I do and have built wonderful relationships with my coworkers and clients over the past five years. Recently, our company’s longtime CEO, who was very involved in day-to-day operations and to whom I reported directly, made the transition into retirement. The leadership style of our new executive officer is the polar opposite of my former boss.
I am the kind of person who tends to get along well with everyone and was taken aback when she questioned the relevance of my job duties, which are primarily focused on the social media management of our organization’s brand across multiple platforms. She has made several remarks about how she doesn’t feel Facebook or Twitter have a place in our marketing strategy.
I want to somehow share the impact our involvement in social media has had, but I am not sure how to approach the topic. I am finding myself feeling a little defensive and anxious to “prove” my worth and the reasoning behind our efforts. Any advice on how I should move forward?
It’s completely natural to feel uneasy or confused about how to “sell” yourself to a new boss. Here are a few tips:
Connect with your inner strength instead of your fears.
When you feel the need to justify your worthiness or make a case for a direction you’ve taken, you are operating from insecurity. Your tone of voice and confidence take a huge hit, which crosses over into your delivery and the overall impression you’re giving. You are a hard worker and surely performed extensive research before presenting online recommendations to your former CEO. Now is not the time to second-guess yourself. That said, there is a right and wrong way to establish a sense of trust with your new boss.
Listen with an open mind and ask questions.
You mentioned your supervisor doubts the validity of your current initiative(s). Instead of jumping to the defense of why your methodology is sound, allow her to feel heard. Don’t shut her down or interrupt; try to be as objective as possible and see if she will share why she has reservations. Her elaborating will give her some comfort and even better, you’ll have specific areas to revisit later.
Once you have heard your new boss out, thank her for her time and insight and ask if you can meet again to go over things in more detail. Get something on the calendar and jump into research mode. Perhaps some of her concerns have a level of validity to them, or there may be a few that you knew posed a risk but felt the pros outweighed the cons. Either way, you can pull together detailed reporting and talk about next steps. Remain flexible and embrace constructive criticism.
Although you may miss the bond you shared with the previous CEO, hopefully over time, your relationship with your new boss will also grow. Stay positive, hear her out and continue to do your very best. Before long, she’ll see and appreciate your merit.