Over the past four weeks we’ve been talking about your career success:
We’ve heard from some of you that you’ve accepted a new job and want to be sure that you start off on the right foot. While you’re excited to start something new, you’re also anxious about meeting new people, learning new systems, and being seen as a competent and collaborative employee.
You’ve said that you understand that creating a foundation of trust with your coworkers is important to your success and the team’s success, but you’re not quite sure what to do.
So, today, we’re sharing three behaviors that are important when engaging with your new team: gratitude, curiosity, and respect.
Whether you’re joining a company as an employee or a manager (or even taking on a new role at your existing company), demonstrating gratitude, curiosity, and respect, can help you to create a successful foundation with your workmates.
Share your excitement and gratitude to be working closely with them as individuals and as a team.
Let them know that you look forward to influencing them with your ideas and inviting them to influence you with theirs.
Frame conversations in the “we” rather than “I”. Convey your belief that together, you can continue to create great success.
Seek to create engaging and connecting conversations. The goal is to understand more about the people you’re working with, not grill them on who they are.
Ask questions like the ones below with warmth and kindness and you’ll have some rich conversations.
- What brought you to this organization/department?
- What type of communication style works best for you when things are going well? How about when things get tense?
- What is the work you love to do most here?
The goal of curiosity is to find out what you don’t know. Asking questions with genuine interest is a great way to learn what’s working, what’s not working, and what could be better.
Being respectful of decisions that were made before you arrived, lets your team know that you realize they did what they thought best at the time.
As a lead-in for any of the below questions, saying something like, “I’m impressed with all of the great work you/this team has been doing and really appreciate your efforts. To understand things better, I’d like to learn about what went into your decisions and how they were made.
- I’m curious about the history or background of this effort, project, process, system, etc.
- Can you describe to me what the key factors were that went into the direction or decision?
- What do you see as the benefits of this current project, process, system, direction, etc? What are the concerns that need to be addressed? What suggestions do you have to make it better?
Change can be difficult for people. As you enter your new role, it’s helpful to let them know that you respect and appreciate all that they bring to the table.
If you aren’t thoughtful about the transition into the role you may undermine your credibility and, frankly, piss people off. Starting off your new role by insulting your team or the previous leader is poor form and could derail your efforts.
We’ve all had the experience of someone new coming in with a swagger trying to prove their worth by questioning decisions, making changes without context, and railroading over others.
When you show up with gratitude,
curiosity, and respect,
you’re demonstrating to your teammates that
you’re ready to collaborate,
and create success, together.
Think about how you can start a conversation with gratitude, curiosity, and respect, and let us know how it goes!