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Internal moves: Not as easy as they look

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Office Politics,Workplace Communication

Lee’s immediate supervisor left the organization, so now she reports to a higher-level director. In their meetings, the director seems distracted and bored, even though Lee takes extra time to prepare.

“My preparation is usually met with a very brief response or a push off to another manager,” she says. “I asked whether he’d like me to run everything through another manager first, but he wants me to report directly to him. What can I do to make our meetings more engaging?”

Take these steps to avoid the pitfalls of office politics, says Rick Brandon, author of Survival of the Savvy:

Talk it out. Before you make the transition, sit down with the old and new bosses together to find out how the transition will be handled. For example, what will your new responsibilities entail? What will the reporting structure be? What are your new top priorities?

Understand the new rules.
“It’s easy to think, ‘I know the company, I’ve been here for 20 years,’” says Erika Andersen, author of Being Strategic. “It’s really important not to assume that it’s the same.”

A new manager may expect you to report your progress differently or meet more frequently. Ask about these details early on.

Stay open. Reorganization usually leads to fear among employees, so don’t be surprised by initial push-back from co-workers. Be open with them about how your role fits into the group.

Manage your relationships. Forge new relationships, but don’t forget the old. Preserving those ties is key in a volatile work environment.

“There’s so much reorganization,” says Brandon. “You might end up back with those people.”

— Adapted from “New Job, Same Firm: Learning the Ropes,” Jane Porter, The Wall Street Journal.

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