Every new job, be it a promotion, a transfer, or a move to a new organization brings with it a new set of challenges and opportunities. The one constant every new position brings is change change in your Universe of People; change in the skills required to do the job; change in relationships with former peers, bosses, subordinates; change in accountabilities; and change in how the assumptions and behaviors you have developed will work in this new situation.
Here are five Keys that successful leaders have told us are essential to success in new jobs. Use them to create your own success.
Key One How you establish your relationship with your boss is critical don’t leave it to chance, or circumstances, or to your boss. Be proactive, and do not assume you and your boss are on the same wavelength chances are you are not and chances are neither of you are aware of that!
Solution: Write down the top three to five measurable things that you believe will create success in your position – then ask your boss to do the same then compare notes. Hint: agreement on two out of five when you first compare notes is fairly typical!
Key Two Never assume the people that are working with you, for you or above you see things the same way you do because they don’t. Every single person brings a set of skills, attitudes and behaviors different from every other person, and they will see everything through their lens, and it is different from yours. Perhaps not a lot different, but even little differences can result in big misunderstandings.
Solution: Changing the way people see things is very difficult. Creating a commonly understood set of results creates a sense of unity and purpose and direction and alignment of effort that overcomes perception differences. Goals create understanding and direction and expectations.
Key Three Your expectations are different from the expectations of your boss, your staff, and the people that provide advice, counsel and support.
Solution: Express your expectations and be ready to modify and negotiate them clear expectations between you and your “Universe At Work” are critical to success. The best way to express expectations is as goals that are consistent with and aligned with your organization’s goals. No more than three to five at a time! And if your organization does not have goals to align with, then set them up in your area of responsibility with visibility to your boss, peers and the people who report to you.
Key Four – You expect people to behave in certain ways, based on your attitudes, behaviors and values. They expect you to behave in certain ways based on their attitudes, behaviors and values. You will all be frustrated to find that the behavior you get is not what you expected.
Solution: Deal with results; every time you see a behavior that is not consistent with your own, reserve judgment and ask if it meets the needs and the goals of your organization. Remember, solutions can come in lots of different wrappers, if you let them.
Key Five The only behavior you can control is your own if you think you can control the behavior of others you’re either kidding yourself or spending so much time looking over their shoulders that you cannot do your job! Since you can only control your own behavior, you can only influence the behavior of others through how you act. People tend to return what they observe they are getting.
Solution: Realize that you will be treated the way you are perceived as treating others in 95% of the cases. There is an old saying ” How you act shouts so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying.” Take advantage of the tools that are available that can give you a better understanding of yourself as the first step toward more effective interactions with others.
A Bonus Key: When you start your new position, ask around and find out what problems need to be fixed. If you ask, you will be amazed how quickly you will find an opportunity to fix a problem of long standing while developing the trust and credibility that you need to succeed. And remember, the highest form of personal security comes through your accomplishments.
People relationship issues are the most challenging issues you will face in your career. They are also the issues that can provide the highest leverage and the most opportunity to succeed. Work on building personal excellence in the people part of your work it has universal application for you!