Building Rapport in a New Job
Q: I have recently been recruited
for a mid-managerial position with a large property management firm
in the Southwest. Given that I'm an outsider, I'm concerned about
how to build good rapport with the supervisors reporting to me, some
of whom undoubtedly think they should have been offered my job. How
do I go about winning their respect and allegiance?
A: Begin by recognizing two important
supervisors know a great deal about their individual areas. You
need their expertise to do your job effectively.
- From top
management's point of view, you must have better big picture
skills than any of your subordinates, otherwise the firm would
have promoted one of them instead of hiring you.
By exhibiting a keen awareness that
you and the supervisors need each other, you'll achieve an important
first step toward gaining their loyalty and respect. Of course, some
of them will resent you for taking the position they wanted. But
they're likely to support your efforts if you ask for their input on
Unless it's critical to business
survival, don't spearhead any major changes for three to six months.
Instead, get together with each of your supervisors to discuss the
strengths and weaknesses of his or her area and options for
Develop a master plan for your
division, using both top management's and your supervisors' input.
Then refine the plan with your key people, before introducing it to
everyone. Getting your staffs advice on how to proceed is not only
politically astute, it's also a smart management technique for
building a winning team.