Your new team is paying attention to everything you do; from what you wear, what you say, and how you say it. You face the double edge sword of showing confidence and never letting them see you sweat as you find your way to learning your new role.
Over Communicate: Not only will gain you respect as an open and approachable leader, but over communicating is a sure fire way to eliminate staff anxiety and speculation. So how can you quickly lead your new team to trust you and feel comfortable about the changes they are experiencing? Call a meeting in the first week!
- Agenda Item #1 – Be human: As a leader you need to demonstrate strength but you’re still human and showing that to your staff will get you farther than trying to show that you know everything.
- Invite your team: Through the appropriate internal channels, clearly state the objective as a chance for everyone to get to know you. Ask staff to confidentially submit 3 to 5 questions they have about you prior to the meeting.
- The Meeting: Spend 5 minutes discussing career/experience background, family information, hobbies. Make it light.
- Answer the questions: Spend 30 minutes answering the submitted questions. Prepare your answers in advance and be succinct. Start with the low lying fruit first and be sure to answer the question.
- Your time to shine: Explain your preferred means of communication, open door policy, walk and talk around the office… Talk about your worse and best team experience as a way to get everyone on the same page of the behaviors you encourage. Lastly, showcase your values by explaining how you define success for yourself and what’s behind each of your decisions. Remember, this is your chance to connect with people. Avoid droning on and on.
- Take swift action: Don’t hesitate to enforce any suggestion which solves a business problem or has a quick or dramatic impact. Demonstrate that you are a leader capable of getting things done.
- Focus on the big picture: Your team wants to see you succeed. Don’t allow one or two people to dominate your meeting. Acknowledge what is said, write it down, and ask how we can work together to resolve. If necessary, suggest the topic be discussed at a more appropriate time.
You’ve taken an important first step in demonstrating your leadership by building goodwill with your team and showing you are capable of listening, learning, and connecting. Continue to build on the team momentum you’ve set into place by following up on what was agreed to and discussed during your meeting.
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