I was recently at a client training event. Just as I walked off stage, a brand new second-line manager rushed up to me to introduce himself. With a bit of uneasiness in eyes he confided in me that he was only a few days into his new job and asked me if I had any coaching on how best to approach his new team to set the right tone. . .
This is the gist of what I told him:
◆ CONFIDENCE – You were chosen for this role for a reason. Despite that insecure feeling in your gut that you may be a bit over your skis, you will figure it out. You got this.
◆ HUMILITY – Approach your new role and the situation with your new team with humility and a sense that you don’t have all the answers. (Because despite what you might be thinking, you don’t. And that’s ok.)
◆ VULNERABILITY – Be willing to lead by example and show your people that it’s ok to be vulnerable. Make it clear that you value them, their insights, their experience—and that you collectively (as a team) will build this together.
◆ CURIOSITY – Despite your previous experience, begin your new role with a beginner’s mind. Be curious about the industry dynamics, the customer and their business issues/challenges, and the sales motion.
◆ COMPASSION – Use these first few interactions to really get to know your people on a personal level. Understand what makes them tick—their dreams, their goals, their aspirations, their WHY.
Don’t try to come in and force change top-down, instead create an environment where buy-in bubbles bottoms up.
Invest the time to engage with your team 1:1 and ask them…
◆ What does it feel like to be part of this team?
◆ If there was one thing you would change, what would it be?
◆ What’s working?
◆ What’s not?
◆ Why did you join this company?
◆ What are you trying to achieve on a personal level?
◆ How can I help?
Just take notes and listen. Once you’ve cycled through your 1:1s, call a team meeting with the intention of level-setting things.
Reflect back to the team what you heard, what you learned, and be inclusive by including everyone’s voice.
Then share with them what you intend to do about it. (To earn credibility, underpromise and over deliver, always.)
Go into that meeting with a clear idea of the type of culture you want to create. Clearly communicate that to the team and ask for their help and support in co-creating it together as ONE TEAM.
Remember: You got this…