The first day at work can be intimidating – especially when you’re meeting with your new team. It’s important to focus on not only getting to know your new colleagues but also to make a positive impression.
So how do you ensure that both things happen?
Introduce yourself and your team. Set the tone for the meeting by introducing yourself and then describing what you're looking for in a new role. Is this a good fit for me? What does it mean to be part of this team? Are we working towards common goals, or are there any big differences between us that could cause conflict later on in our relationship? You should also be sure to set expectations about how much time will be spent talking about work (or not talking at all) during these meetings—and whether they're going to be recorded so everyone can watch them later! This is especially important if you're going to be working together remotely; having someone come into your office every day might not make sense if they don't live close by.
Set expectations. Make sure to explain what you expect from them, including how they should conduct themselves during meetings, by saying something like ‘We're going to have a meeting every Monday at 6 pm’ or ‘We'll meet every Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 pm’.
Ask questions when appropriate; don't be afraid of asking more than one question—it shows that you're interested in their answers! If someone asks a question that seems basic or obvious (like ‘what is our mission statement?’), just answer it and move on. This way, no one feels left out or embarrassed about asking questions again and it helps build confidence in the team towards you as well as themselves.
7 tips to make your first meeting with a new team a success
1. First impressions
First impressions are highly important – and you only get one chance.
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘dress for the job you want, not the one you have’. It’s a good rule to follow, and your clothing choices can also act as a form of non-verbal communication. Make sure that you’re dressed smartly and appropriately - if you work in a professional role, then a suit and tie are probably a good bet, whereas if you’re working in a customer-focused team, then smart casual clothes are the way to go.
Listening is incredibly important, and something that people often overlook. You’re going to be meeting new colleagues, and it’s important that you hear what they have to say, rather than thinking about what you’re going to say next. Remember, there’s a lot you can learn from listening to your colleagues – and there’s often a lot you can learn from what they’re not saying. Have you noticed any tensions between team members? Are there any issues bubbling under the surface? By listening carefully, you can learn a lot about your job and your new colleagues.
3. Ask questions
Asking questions is an important part of building a good relationship with your new colleagues. Asking questions demonstrates that you’re interested and that you’re keen to learn more about the people you’re working with. But make sure that you approach your questions diplomatically. For example, if you’re new to the team, then never ask people about their job or responsibilities – instead, ask them about their interests, hobbies or passions. Remember that no one likes an open-ended question. Instead of asking, ‘So what do you like about working here?’, ask, ‘What do you like about working for XYZ Company?’.
If you’ve just been introduced, then remember that the person you’re speaking to probably knows very little about you, so avoid asking, ‘So how do you know John-Paul?’ – instead ask, ‘What do you do here?’.
4. Know who you are
It’s important to remember that your first day at a new job is not the day to be making sweeping changes to how you do things. Your new colleagues will already have a good idea of who you are, and what you’re capable of.
If you’re new to a company, then don’t be tempted to slip into a pre-conceived idea of how you think things should be done. Remember, you’re the new guy – you joined your team for a reason, and that reason is probably that your new colleagues saw something in you that made you stand out.
So don’t change everything on your first day at work – instead, try to get to know your new colleagues, and let them get to know you.
5. Act like a professional
That’s something we all hear when we’re growing up, but it’s especially important on your first day at a new job. You don’t want to appear immature or unprofessional – and it’s important to remember that your behaviour, both on and off the job, can have a big impact on how people regard you. So be polite, be friendly, and be professional – and if you’re unsure, then remember that it’s better to ask than to assume.
6. Stay calm
There’s an old saying - ‘You never get a second chance to make a good first impression’. People will indeed make judgements about you based on your first encounter with them, so it’s important to make sure that you make a positive impression.
But also remember that first impressions aren’t always right – and that you don’t know your new colleagues as well as you think you do. So keep calm, and don’t panic. Try to remember that you’ve been hired for a reason and that your colleagues have seen something in you that made you stand out. If you make a mistake, don’t worry. You’ll probably learn a lot from it, and your mistakes will make you more human, and more approachable.
No matter what you do, don’t panic!
7. Be yourself
You don’t want to pretend to be someone you’re not. You want to work in a place where you’re happy and that offers you the opportunity to grow and develop.
And that means that you need to feel comfortable being yourself.
The most important thing is that you feel good about yourself and your new job, so don’t try to change who you are, or what you stand for to fit in with your new colleagues. Remember, if you really like your new colleagues, and your new job, then you’ll be yourself – and you’ll probably have a great time! But if you feel uncomfortable, or you’re unhappy in your new role, then it’s important to be honest with yourself and to talk to your boss or to HR.
Questions to ask in a first team meeting
In the first meeting, you'll want to be sure that your new team is on the same page and ready to work together as a unit. Here are some questions that can help:
- What are our goals for the next 90 days?
- What are our goals for the next year?
- What are our goals for the next 3 years?
- And what about 5 years out?
Chart out the next steps after your meeting
- Always plan the agenda for the next meeting, or action points discussed, and document them.
- Set expectations for the next meeting.
- Set up a follow-up meeting, if needed.
- Determine what you need to do to prepare for the next meeting.
- Most importantly, be prepared to listen and leverage technology.
Everyone must know what is expected from each other before starting work together on a project; it'll prevent misunderstandings later down the road when deadlines are looming over your head!
Most importantly, be prepared to listen and leverage technology
Don’t be afraid to use technology: Use video conferencing or chat apps like Slack or Skype for meetings with remote workers who are scattered across time zones and locations. In this way, you can stay connected with them even when they're not physically present in front of you (which is often).
Mesh is a tool that helps managers keep track of individual and shared tasks across goals, projects and teams, all through one list. A consolidated view of tasks for each team member helps managers plan and distribute work better.