“How do I lead my new team?”
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Posted by: Barbara Francella
I'm the new
leader of a team that has worked together for a while. How do I get to know
them and gain confidence in their abilities without stepping on toes?
Three words: Make it personal. Make it your
priority to spend one-on-one time with each member of this team. Get to know
them as people before you ever ask about business.
View this opportunity as
take time to build and maintain, so don’t rush it. At the beginning of any
relationship, those involved spend time feeling each other out. In doing so,
commonalities, as well as shared interests and goals, are discovered. Along the
way, you’ll naturally discover things
about their life experiences, including professional experiences.
Ask questions like:
- Where were you born?
- How many people are in your family?
- What did you learn about leadership as a child?
- What do you think you are really good at?
- When you were a child, what did you want to
grow up and be?
- What do you value?
- What’s most important to you?
Prepare to share answers to these questions as
well. Building trust and displaying vulnerability is a two-way street.
In addition to taking these steps, check out
your company’s intranet. Most organizations provide a site where an employee
can complete a profile on themselves.
You’ll gain a lot of knowledge about your team members there as well.
Once you feel you have laid a strong foundation,
ask this powerful question: "What can I do as your leader to set you up for
success?” They’ll be pleased that you care enough to know how to best work with
them. As a result, they will care about you.
You’ll more naturally be accepted as the leader — and a member — of
But remember, this process must not be
rushed. Take things slowly and
Trudy Bourgeois is happy to answer your career
questions. Please email them to NEW Communications Manager Barbara Grondin Francella.
Trudy Bourgeois is founder and CEO of The
Center for Workforce Excellence.
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