The first video in the “First Steps In Management” series is dedicated to a new manager’s first team meeting and their introduction to the team. Watch the video to learn about the areas you need to cover when introducing yourself to the team, some of the underlying fears and concerns your team most likely has and more.
The first team meeting is crucial for setting the tone for your relationship with your team and building the foundations of your work together. Now, remember that introductions are essential even if you are not new to the company and have worked with the team before. You are now in a new role and are no longer Jane the colleague but Jane the manager. And this change needs to be addressed.
Preparing for your first meeting with the team is also a great exercise in defining your first steps as a manager and what you would like your relationship with the team to be.
What should be on your first team meeting agenda?
- The first question you need to answer is: Who are you – talk about your experience and expertise, how you got to your current role, and your likes and dislikes. It is also good to share some personal details as well. Of course, it is up to you how much you want to let your team within your private life, but it is always advisable to share some of your quirks or personality traits that may affect them during your work together. For example, I make it a point to let all my new team members know that I don’t take myself too seriously so that they are not surprised when I sometimes make comments they don’t expect from a leader
- The second topic you need to address is your expectations from the team – what results do you want them to achieve, what behaviors would you like to see in the team and which you would not tolerate, how and how often would you like them to communicate with you; how much would you like to be involved in their daily tasks
And last but not least: tell them what your first steps will be and what can they expect from you. What are the first goals you have set for yourself and the first areas you will focus on?
The questions underneath the surface
Be aware that there are many questions, concerns and fears that bubble under the surface when the team gets a new manager. Of course, you will have an opportunity to address many of them in your subsequent interactions, but if you can add at least some of them to your first team meeting agenda, you will be off to a great start.
Questions related to your management style, how you will react when things are not going according to plan or how you will represent the team in front of clients and stakeholders are all likely going through your team’s minds, so do your best to think of their answers in advance and address them.
Now, if you are anything like me, you would be pretty nervous before your first meeting with the team, and you would prepare and rehearse a speech that you will then go out and blurt in front of the group.
But don’t forget that introductions are the start of a relationship and any relationship requires reciprocity and dialogue. So don’t make your first meeting with the team just a presentation but a conversation. Ask questions. Find out what the goals and aspirations of your team members are. Talk about what excites them about their work and what they are battling. Ask them what they expect from you. And keep the conversation going. And with all this, surprise- surprise, you are done with your first meeting, and it was a huge success. Great job!
And if you want to learn more about what your team is going through when they get a new manager, you can check out the What Happens When Your Manager Changes article.
Talk to you soon!