Helping New Managers Know You Want to Help

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about communicating with new bosses: I along with 6 other sales associates and an assistant manager are having a hard time communicating effectively with our new bosses.

I work with a small team at a retail clothing store. Lately, we have been in a big transition of getting a new store manager and co-manager. I along with 6 other sales associates and an assistant manager are having a hard time communicating effectively with our new bosses. Since we have been there longer than they, we want to try and help in any way possible. I think they are taking it the wrong way and seeing it as us trying to be superior to them. How can we communicate effectively so we can all work together and achieve success in the work place?

Signed, Seen as Trying To Boss

Dear Seen as Trying To Boss:

Those of you who have been trying to help your new manager and co-owner sense your efforts are seen as trying to be superior. You provide no evidence that you are perceived that way. Perhaps you are not. But whether the new management sees you that way or not, now is the time to open your channels of communication. How? By asking.

Ask how you, who have been and now are working in this clothing store, can help make your new manager and co-manager’s job easier. If you ask that question, most likely the new management team will then ask what ways might you show them the ropes—what suppliers you know, what merchandise sells, what scheduling arrangements work for you, and who are your customers. So open up the channels. Ask how they want to be talked to and when. In turn you will spell out how you want to be talked with. Informally, this is a process of getting to know each other and to establish the dos and don’ts of how to communicate effectively.

This is not a complex matter if you ask rather that tell new management what you think. Most of all it is an opportunity to share your commitment and concerns that your store does well. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.            William Gorden