Meet regularly and bring your own agenda. You will probably end up deciding what is discussed, which puts you on the front foot.
Tell your boss what he/she does that helps you. This will encourage them to repeat their constructive behaviour - positive feedback has a much stronger correlation with changes in behaviour than criticism.
Share credit for your achievements with your boss. It shows a confidence and generosity normally associated with the person in the more senior role.
Keep close to the rest of the team. It enables you to keep your boss informed, as well as showing an interest in your colleagues.
Offer solutions, not problems. If asked to do more than is reasonable, explain the consequences and suggest alternatives rather than just agreeing or refusing.
Ask for their advice. You don't need to incorporate everything, but play up the importance of their input.
Be sympathetic and supportive when things go wrong. It's lonely being the boss, and support will be appreciated long after the low moments have passed.
Deal with ad hoc requests flexibly but firmly. If you manage the process by which you and your boss make decisions, you'll soon end up managing the relationship.
Ask for feedback on your performance. It helps them appreciate what you do. Embracing suggestions they make to help you improve shows you're keen to learn.
Give it time. This is a long game, so don't give up.
- Octavius Black is MD of The Mind Gym, www.themindgym.com.