Making a job or career transition can be stressful. Complicating the challenge are the emotions that surface when we are introduced to a new environment and new people. People who have been working together for a while have bonds forged in the work they have done together. It is only natural to feel like a supervisor might prefer those people. As the newcomer, it’s easy to feel like an outsider, sometimes even unwanted or unliked.
After you have settled into your new position if you objectively perceive a negative bias toward you because of the words or actions of your supervisor, it may be wise to take a proactive action step.
Request a 15 Minute Meeting
With a smile in your face and polite energy in your voice, ask your new supervisor for 15 minutes to review your first several weeks of work. If they ask, “Is something wrong?” reply that you have a few questions. If they have time in that moment, seize the opportunity but make sure you have some privacy. Do not have this discussion in a busy public area like the middle of a dining room, kitchen, or at the concierge desk.
You are not going to schedule a meeting to criticize, condemn, or complain. Do not prepare a list of grievances. This meeting is not so much a challenge, but an opportunity.
Prepare a Few Good Questions
Leaders assess their own behavior before pointing fingers of accusation. Leading with questions is a great way to open the conversation, and bring a situation to light without creating friction.
“How do you see my work so far? In what areas do you see me doing well?
It’s nice to get started on something positive. Do your best not to rebut or comment on what your supervisor says. Take notes and thank them for the feedback. Ask questions if you don’t understand, but accept the positive feedback with appreciation.
“In what areas do you think I can improve my performance?”
Again, ask questions if you don’t understand, but simply thank the supervisor for the feedback and express a commitment to meeting expectations. You don’t have to agree with the feedback, but to integrate you will need to show a willingness to understand.
“Are there resources that I can utilize to improve my performance in those areas? In what timeframe do you expect to see that improvement?”
With this question, you are reinforcing a commitment to improvement but also challenging the supervisor to realize that they have a stake in the process as well.
“Can we schedule a follow up meeting?”
Communication is the key to healthy interpersonal relationships. If you want to integrate and become a valued member of the team, you need to show you are open to feedback and committed to improvement.
After the meeting, make a list of the ways you can improve as suggested by your supervisor. Follow through on those suggestions. Work as hard as you can to excel at your job, following every directive and company policy. Most importantly, do not gossip about the meeting or your feelings.
Many restaurant, hotel, catering and club managers are tasked with managing large staffs. Sometimes we are blind to the biases we have, and don’t realize it until our busy day is interrupted by a leader who takes the positive initiative to suggest a short meeting. So often it’s those moments of leadership that make all the difference.
The mission of Strategic Hospitality Search (SHS) is to partner with our clients throughout the US to create cultures of excellence and to enhance the careers of our candidates. SHS provides expert talent acquisition and consulting services, empowering clients to develop a more aligned work environment resulting in increased profitability and amplified innovation. To learn why hospitality leaders and entrepreneurs call on SHS When Talent Matters Most, visit www.shs.jobs.