Addressing first meeting as a manager
Either way, that first meeting as a new manager is a daunting event. First impressions are often lasting ones. And there’s no better time and place to solidify that impression than the first meeting with your entire team. Whether you’re taking over a brand new team, or you’re a first-time manager, here’s how to approach that first meeting.
The goal of this initial meeting with your new team is NOT to map out the vision for the next twelve months or declare your mandate for change.
You’ll have the space to do both in the coming weeks.
This first meeting is to establish trust and set the tone for the kind of team environment you wish to foster.
Show that you’re humble and ready to learn.
Show that you are worthy of team’s trust
Show that you will always keep team’s interest in mind.
Without trust, your confidence will seem arrogant, your certainty will seem oblivious, and your sense of direction will seem misguided.
Make sure that you share your leadership philosophy.
What do you see as the vision of a manager?
What do you value the most?
Who do you look up to? Who you follow as your role model?
What made you to join this organization?
Share your intentions clearly and loudly with your team.
Assure them that you are here to help, to help them do the best work of their careers, to get out of their way and support them to accomplish something greater.
On a lighter side, share your personal interests.
What do you like doing in your leisure time?
Mention about any social causes or NGO you support?
Make sure you don’t spend more than 25% of the meeting talking about yourself. Sharing your personal information is in the process of creating a rapport with your team.
If you want to win trust of your team and being accepted as a leader, you have to be vulnerable.
You should let your team know that you don’t have all the answers and you have much to learn.
Don’t hesitate to accept that you are on ‘Learning Mode’. A learning mindset is one of the greatest ways to show vulnerability, and build trust with your team.
As you come to end your meeting, don’t ever say as a new Manager to earn your team support: “Feel free to come to my office if you need my help.”
No, don’t say that. You’re indirectly telling them that if they have questions or concerns, they have to come to you. It’s important you put ownness on them.
Instead, try to say “In next 15 days, I will try to meet each one of you, on one to one basis, we will fix up time for that. From there we will take things ahead together. Meantime, if you have anything to discuss, pl. find me on mutual convenience.”
Try to understand the difference between two sayings.
The first saying insists that for anything you have to come to me while second saying indicates you may continue to work as normal way however, we will jointly decide the next course of actions. In case of urgency, you may pl. approach me with an intimation.
The second saying states that you want your team mates to be independent but they are assured you are there to back up them, if required.
You can wrap up your first meeting with a strong message that you’re willing to come to them — that you won’t be waiting for them to bring up issues. You want them to be pro-active in whatever they do for the team.