Remember that your boss liked you when you were hired and that your success depends on successfully nurturing this relationship. It’s been said that more people get discharged because they don’t get along with their boss than they do for performance. The key to establishing a good working relationship is to satisfy the boss’s needs.
What are the pressures on him or her? Your priority is to help your boss do what he or she feels needs to get done.
Observe your boss’s hangups and be sensitive to them. Is your boss a stickler for detail? Is getting work done on time a priority? How does the boss like to be communicated with? Does the boss get upset easily? Over what kind of things? Learn to deal with the boss’s quirks—we all have them. Finally, as you get established, remember
wherever you go in the company, you’re your boss’s representative.
Soon after you start work, ask the boss to write down the priorities for your job, and show the boss your list of priorities so that the two of you can discuss and agree on them. Ask when you’ll be evaluated and on what criteria. Ask what’s going on in the organization that you need to know about. Have any promises and commitments been
made on key decisions that affect you? Which key people should you meet? Are there any sacred cows in the organization you ought to know about?
Ask your boss to meet with you regularly so that you can learn how he or she likes things done. Explain how important it is to you to make the job a success. Emphasize that your first priority is to help him or her get done what he or she needs to get done. Work to show this isn’t just a platitude—you really mean it. Explain that, early on, you may make one or two mistakes. Ask him or her to understand this and to point them out so you can avoid repeating them. Suggest that it would also be helpful that he or she be frank with you on any of your failings.