How to Make a Great First Impression with Your New Team

Hi Karin, I have a new team at work, and I want to make our first meeting fantastic. What recommendations do you have to form a great first impression with my new team? #askingforafriend 

Show up Interested and Interesting For a Great First Impression

Your team wants to know you care about them and are interested in who they are, what they do,  and the challenges they face. They also want to learn a bit about you, your expectations and style, and the strategic direction.  Your best bet is to show up with confident humility by being genuinely interested and interesting.

Be Genuinely Interested

Ask your new team “What do you want me to know?”

This will make it safe for people to contribute their thoughts and ideas while nurturing your new work relationships. By reaching out to ask what is important to them, you’re showing them that you are interested in their experience, knowledge, and understanding.

What do you want me to know ABOUT YOU?

Give each person on your team the opportunity to share with you something about how they work and what’s important to them. Make a great first impression by showing them you care.

What do you want me to know ABOUT THE WORK?

People love to show what they know and how they do what they do.

What do you want me to know about YOUR FRUSTRATIONS?

Make space for the difficult. If you set the stage by being open to hearing about their frustrations you are letting them know you respect their opinions and experiences and want to help.

What are you MOST PROUD OF?

Just as you make space for difficult experiences at work, carve out some room for people to celebrate their work and their achievements. Another way to frame this is to ask, “What makes you a rock star in your role?”

And then let your team know a bit about you (be a bit interesting)

Next, give your team an opportunity to learn about you.  Ask your team “What do you want to know?”

Invite your team to learn more about you and your vision by asking questions that will pull questions out of them. These questions will create a safe space for your team to ask important questions that might be lying under the surface. By asking questions in this way you’re not just telling them about you and your plan…you’re giving them the power to ask about what they think is important.

What do you want to know ABOUT ME? Give your team an opportunity to ask about your management style, your past experiences, and whatever they want to learn about you. Make a good first impression by inviting your team to learn about you.

What do you want to know ABOUT OUR STRATEGY? Naturally, with a new manager, your team might have questions about what is going to change. What are you bringing to the strategy that’s different from before? What’s staying the same?

What do you want to know about WHERE WE’RE HEADED? What can they expect around the short and long-term plan with the team and the company? Here’s where you can share a bit about what they can look forward to. And as time goes on you can build on what you share in your first team meeting.

You can add to these questions to keep the conversation starters going and make a good first impression. What would you add? Share in the comments below, I’d love to hear!

leadership communication

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