Ideas for meeting new team/introductions

I've been brought into the organisation at a higher level to formulate a training strategy & make the function more business-focused. Naturally the established team (6 plus a team leader) are nervous about their future roles & any changes which I may make.

I'm planning a team meeting to introduce myself & give a bit of background as well as provide some reassurance & gain trust. I need to let them know my ways of working but also that part of my role is to audit the current function outputs.

I'd welcome any ideas for how I approach this meeting - should I be formal/do a presentation/have a meeting off-site/ask for questions & fears etc?

I want to establish authority but also engage cooperation & a positive working environment going forward to meet the changes ahead.
Jo Milton

Answers

Jo

The first step is about process - opening up communication.

Avoid a presentation - formal, one way, big person to little person. Authority does not come from doing a presentation.

Ask questions and listen. Ask for questions.

The second step, depending on the response, could be an off-site to explore how the team moves forward to meet the new challenges.

Mike Westwood

Nkellingley's picture

Jo,

I'm in the same boat in the next couple of weeks I'm going to have to do the same kind of thing, so I'll be following the tips and hints here closely too.

My plan so far is to introduce myself and my "vision" for the training function in a fairly formal 2 minute presentation. Then I'm going to explain that it's not going to me that makes it succeed or fail but everyone and that I will value their contributions and feedback throughout the process either formally or informally.

Then I'm going to ask them for their ideas and opinions on how to create a successful environment and try and come to a consensus on our direction, but leaving the definition open so that we can revisit it at any point.

Finally I'm going to ask them to think about a "Vision" and "Mission" statement for the function and ask them to come back with their ideas at which point we'll try and formulate a statement which everyone can buy into for the function. After that I'll take it a step at a time...

I'm not sure you need to exercise authority as much as get your team's buy-in as soon as possible. Leading rather than dictating has always worked well for me in the past.

Good luck and congratulations on your new job.

Nik

Before the meeting I'd send out a short note saying looking forward to working with them and a short biography. The say "Please send me five things we need to do as a team to be even more successful and serve our internal clients better".
I've found that the best way to get buy-in and respect is by listening, listening and listening. They'll love you!
Bill

Having gone through this myself only two weeks ago....

I realised that my team of 12 were as nervous as I was! What I found was that introducing an 'ice-breaker' type quiz where people revealed a little about themselves worked really well. Rather than go through a bio of each (they all knew each other, I was the new one) - I asked them to reveal one of their answers to the quiz, and followed it up with a bit about me. Then opened the meeting up for questions, by which time they were warmed up and more relaxed.
Incidentally, two of the team were in different parts of the world - and it still worked!

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