Starting a new role can be tough.
In addition to the pressure of a completely new workspace and set of colleagues, you’re also focused on making a good first impression with your team. Not to mention trying to ensure you pass your probation and contribute to some great initiatives.
If you’re nervous about what to expect, this can often be overwhelming… But instead of running ”what if” scenarios over in your head, there are a few steps you can take to make a positive and memorable impact as soon as you walk through the doors.
Understand who is who
There’s nothing worse than someone knowing who you are, but you can’t even remember their name.
We’re only human and it’s okay not to remember, but if you are coming into an organisation in a senior position, there are probably a few people you’ll need to be familiar with before starting the role.
My tip here: Stalk your co-workers.
Jump onto their LinkedIn profile and the company’s website and review their work history, projects they’ve worked on, and their interests. While you might have learnt a lot about the team during the interview stage, try to understand how everyone’s position fits into the bigger picture within the company. This helps you understand who you may be working with, on what.
LinkedIn is also great as most people will have a profile picture on their account, allowing you to put a face to the name, which always helps with recall. At this point, feel free to connect with your future colleagues on LinkedIn - it helps them get to know you too.
More listening, less talking
A powerful relationship-building tool that is simple but effective. Being present, reflecting and having empathy will take you a long way and allow you to have better conversations.
So how do you listen to create a better conversation?
- Know when to be quiet. It’s okay to pause to show that you are listening or thinking. Why? When we listen, we learn and absorb new information. From this, we can have a quality conversation where there is an equal opportunity for each person to speak.
- Be present. Being mentally present is crucial for listening well. You have a clear mind and soak up what is being said. It sounds easy in theory but we all live busy lives and we struggle to turn off or be present.
- Reflect. Forget thinking about your quick response and analyse the reasoning behind their words. For example, “I get your point. I agree with what you said but have you considered…” Don’t be afraid of silence as you think of your response, you will most likely have a more thoughtful response.
- Empathy. We all think differently. We need to take the time to put ourselves in another person’s shoes and see their opinion, issues or concerns from their point of view. So hold off on judgement and understand their situation and perspectives. This will help you achieve empathy and relate to people and understand them on a personal level.
Ask everyone the one thing you could help them with
Who doesn’t love a teammate who has a solution to their problem… or at least a bit of helpful advice that brings a new perspective or fresh ideas.
No, you may not have a solution for everything - it’s not your job to know everything.
But you can always spark an idea, connect them with the right person, or point them towards some resources that would help. As a senior employee, it’s your job to contribute to employee engagement and help your new team or colleagues (even in different departments) to succeed.
Be as present as possible
Whether it is having a say at an upcoming meeting or attending the after-work networking event, being present from the beginning is vital. It shows your colleagues you are genuinely interested in the success of the organisation and building strong relationships. You’ll quickly gain an understanding of the way things work and improve your own confidence in your new role.
My tip here: Say “yes” and see where it takes you.
Build meaningful personal relationships
It’s so important to understand people, not just your role.
It’s one thing to know your team and their skills and vice versa, but it is another to actually know their interests and passions outside of work. It is these details that help you work better together and understand one another’s motivations. It will help you get the best out of your team and allow you to tailor your management style in a way that suits them.
This can be as simple as sitting with them at the lunch table to find out a bit more about them, or you simply asking what they did on the weekend. People like it when you remember an event they attended or share with them something about yourself that might be non-work related.
Lean in and make a great first impression
Making a good first impression on your new role is crucial to your ongoing success, if you would like advice on starting a new role or finding a new job, FutureYou can help you out - see our available positions here.