When you start a job the first time it can feel a bit daunting, especially when you are coming into a position of leadership. You may be worried about how your new team will perceive you. In this case, first impressions are very important. They lay the base for future relationships and successful workplace interactions. But how can you deliver a stellar first impression right from the get-go?
I am here to help you out and provide some ideas on how to introduce yourself to a new team as a manager. Feel free to use any of the tips and tricks below as I am sure they will prove to be very useful. From appearance to the way you talk and what you say, these ideas are a definite way to score a good first impression and lower some of that anxiety you may be having.
How Important Is A First Impression?
Like our mothers always used to say ( or mine at least ), you will never be able to get another chance at a first impression. Of course, you can always prove yourself later, but this mainly works in a casual environment. When it comes to the workplace, a good first impression will send you in on the right foot. The stakes are usually high and even more so when you are walking in the shoes of an old leader.
Your new team is probably used to their former manager and might be a bit reluctant to the change. They may be a bit cold or take the route they are used to and treat you the same way they used to treat their old boss, regardless of your needs or wants. This is why you need to stand your ground and make your intention clear right from the get-go.
The Main Steps
As the new manager, you need to know how to introduce yourself to a new team. Unless you are building a new team from scratch, your staff will come with a load of previous experience and plenty of expectations. Depending on how engaged you want them to be with you as their leader, you need to get it right from the beginning.
Andrew Soswa, a specialist in business administration has stressed the importance of a first impression and the fact that you need more than charm to nail this. The inexperienced will probably have a harder time in achieving that “wow factor”. Presentations need to be polished and practiced. Like with pretty much everything in life, you need to put some work into it, if you want to succeed.
There is however a formula that has proven to be successful for managers. Here are its main steps:
- Share your story ( it builds trust )
- Set boundaries and expectations ( it puts you in a position of power )
- Focus on building relationships ( you are at the same time part of the team )
- Deliver a positive outcome ( it creates engagement )
It may seem like a lot, but the process flows quite easily. Let’s break things down.
1. Share Your Story
This first step is incredibly important as it creates a framework for the rest of the steps. When sharing your story, make sure to make it as human as possible. Don’t be afraid of vulnerability as it is a crucial factor if you want to build trust. Authenticity is always a great stepping stone. It shows you are comfortable with who you are, with your success and your mistakes.
Great leaders focus on authentic connections that go beyond the surface. And the first step in that direction is humanizing yourself so that you may let others in easily. This way you build a space for them to open up and be honest with you.
2. Set Boundaries and Expectations
Layout what you hope to achieve together, and create healthy boundaries at the same time. This enforces your position of power. You are their leader and they need to remember that during the journey.
First, make sure you name their accomplishments and how impressed you are with the work they’ve put in so far. Then you can pinpoint some opportunities you think the team can go towards with you as their leader. Just make sure you are not positioning yourself as the “savior type”. You are not here to fix anything but to lead them towards a new horizon, full of possibilities and growth.
While you are painting this beautiful picture full of benefits, you need to also take a stance and set some boundaries. These are not meant to be perceived in an aggressive way or delivered in a dictatorial style. This will be a conversation of sharing. Sharing working styles, behavioral patterns in the workplace, and so forth. Think about what are the most basic principles that you want to gravitate towards when it comes to managing your team. After all, all good leadership stands under some theoretical pillars.
3. Focus On Building Relationships
Now that you’ve established where you and the team are headed, your next focus should be the relationship-building process. It is crucial for them to perceive you as one of their own, not as an unreachable and distant boss. You need to highlight how you plan on getting to know the environment and the people in it. How are you approaching the rest of your team and how will you interact with them?
You need to have a basic understanding of the dynamics within your team first. Then you need to emphasize the importance of trust between members. When you focus on building relationships, likeability is not the major factor you need to be taking into account. It is about establishing a good connection through understanding others. Get to know the members of your new team. Stress how important it is to enforce positive behaviors through communication and a balanced mindset.
4. Deliver A Positive Outcome
Set yourself up in a way that you only give others a positive vibe. This is crucial for a balanced and productive atmosphere in your team. Focus on any positive emotion you want to portray. A good manager knows how to stand his ground without being aggressive to his co-workers. This is about earning others’ respect in a good manner.
Think about how you can switch things up. Smile more, maintain eyesight, and talk in a calm and collected manner. You can even propose holding meetings in informal environments from time to time. After all, you can discuss work matters over a coffee as well. Try to entertain good vibes, but also make them understand that their focus and engagement are required as well.
Tips and Tricks To Nail Your First Impression
Knowing how to introduce yourself to a new team as a manager is important if you want to start on the right foot. So besides the four steps presented above, I thought a few tips and tricks would make this a walk in the park for you.
Do Your Research
Before you start thinking about what to wear and how to present yourself, you first need to do your homework. Learn as much as you can about the team you are going to lead. Know everything you can about your co-workers and all the ways in which you can support them. This way you can set expectations based not only on your goals but based on their experience as well.
Don’t Be Too Focused On Your Experience
When you introduce yourself, don’t focus the discussion too much on yourself and your achievement. It’s good to give your team a frame of reference, but talking only about your experience in the field right from start won’t give you an advantage. Instead, try an learn a bit about the environment you are walking into. Being in “learning mode” will showcase humbleness and give a better impression.
Be Prepared To Answer Questions
As with any meeting where you introduce yourself, questions are bound to make an appearance sooner or later. Especially when you take the position of a manager. People will be curious to see how things will unfold. They may be anxious even. And they will certainly have questions that need an answer. Be prepared to answer honestly and humbly.
Don’t Forget About Your Appearance
As with any introduction, people will first remember your appearance. After all, we are visual beings first. And this is why it’s very important to put some effort into your look. Dress professionally, take care of your hair or make-up and mind the tone of your voice. If you practice being elegant and put together, chances are you will be perceived that way as well.
To wrap things up, learning how to introduce yourself to a new team as a manager is crucial. Having this skill will work for you in the long run and will help you achieve your goals more quickly. I hope the four steps above as well as the tips and tricks will be of use to you in the future or at the very least, give you a framework of reference for your next meeting.