Dealing With Management Change: How to Work With a New Boss

Updated on June 5, 2020
SMD2012 profile image

Sally is a writer, speaker, and communications coach. She teaches her clients how to express themselves with power and impact.

Are you ready to meet your new boss? Stay positive when the company you work for changes hands.
Are you ready to meet your new boss? Stay positive when the company you work for changes hands.

Did you just get a notice that your boss is being replaced by someone new?

Did the company that you work for recently undergo a change of top-level management?

Has the small business where you’ve worked for years been sold and now you’ll be working for a brand new boss?

Coping With a Leadership Change at Work

Sometimes businesses change hands and you end up with a new boss. Here are some tips for employees on how to deal with a change in management or a transfer of business ownership.

For many people, the thought of a change in management at work can be either welcome news or a dreaded omen. If you have been working under a boss who has been treating you and your co-workers unfairly, a change in leadership might give you hope that your difficult work situation could turn around. On the other hand, if you’ve always had a good working relationship with your supervisor, it may be hard to accept that someone new will be in charge.

Tips for Dealing With a New Boss

No matter how you feel about being assigned a new boss, there are some things you can do to make working under new management as stress-free as possible. Here are some tips for how to cope with a change in leadership at work.

  1. Brush Up on Your Job Interview Skills
  2. Stay Positive and Always Act Professionally
  3. Polish Your Communication Skills
  4. Be Assertive
  5. Be Patient and Empathetic
  6. Be Open to Change

Successfully navigating a change in management at work means being open to heading in new directions.
Successfully navigating a change in management at work means being open to heading in new directions.

1. Brush Up on Your Job Interview Skills

Working with a new boss doesn’t mean that you need to start looking for a new job. But during your first one-to-one meeting with your new manager, it is critical that you make a good first impression. All of those rules about job interviews still apply when you are meeting your new boss for the first time. Be confident. Focus on your assets. Dress to impress.

2. Stay Positive and Always Act Professionally

When someone new joins your work team, whether it’s a new boss or a new co-worker, it can be tempting to give the newbie the inside scoop, “helpfully” filling them in on the current office culture and “how things really work.” But offering unsolicited insider advice to your supervisor can backfire. First of all, by rushing to fill her in, you're implying that she has poor observational skills; you're essentially suggesting that your new boss isn’t bright enough to understand interoffice relationships. Give your new team leader time to make her own assessment about the current office culture.

You also don’t want to give the impression that you are an office gossip. No matter how bad things were before your new boss arrived on the scene, avoid complaining about your job, your co-workers, or your old boss. (This tip isn’t just for people working with a new boss. It’s for anyone who wants to advance in their careers.) If you believe that a change in leader is an opportunity to distance yourself from past office politics and drama, then why dredge up negative stories from the past?

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

— Wayne Dyer

3. Polish Your Communication Skills

If you want to start off on good terms with your new boss, make clear and consistent communication a top priority. Be proactive and ask your new supervisor how he or she prefers to communicate.

  • Does your new boss like to use email?
  • Is she a hands-on leader who prefers to meet face to face?
  • Does she believe in having strict office hours with no contact from employees outside of the office?
  • Or does she insist on being kept up to date via cell phone even if that means calling her on her personal time (i.e.; weekends and holidays)?

Understanding your new manager’s communication boundaries will ensure you don’t intrude on her life or keep her in the dark when an important issue comes up.

4. Be Assertive

Be upfront with your new boss about what tools, resources, and support you need to successfully do your job. Your new supervisor wants you to do well at your job; that’s what you're paid to do, after all. When you do well, your boss looks good. And believe it or not, your new boss wants to make a good first impression with her higher-ups, too.

5. Be Patient and Empathetic

Even though your new supervisor may have years of experience, the truth is that starting a new job can be challenging for anyone. It doesn’t matter if someone is starting out at the bottom of the office food chain or sliding into a top position as a manager or CEO, it takes time to fit in and find your way. Be supportive and helpful without coming across as a suck-up. Put yourself in your new manager’s shoes and ask yourself what kind of help you would want.

6. Be Open to Change

Accept that your new boss will likely have a unique management style and will do things differently than your old boss. If, however, you're still feeling anxious about working with a new boss, have an honest discussion with yourself about why a change in leadership is bothering you.

  • Are you concerned that your boss might not think you are competent or qualified to do your job?
  • Have you been coasting along at work, taking it easy under your old boss’s lax supervision and you're worried that you’ll have to work harder now?

If either of these questions touches a nerve, then it might be time to look inward and ask if you're really committed to this job or if it is time to move on. If you want to keep your job, perhaps some professional development courses or night classes to upgrade your skills will give you an extra boost of confidence.

By adjusting your attitude and thinking of this new leadership change as an opportunity for growth, you may discover that working with a new boss is the start of an exciting new career for you!

Do You Welcome Change in the Workplace?

See results

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2013 Sally Hayes


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)