The New Boy/Girl

 How To: Introduce Yourself to a New Team

 

All beginnings are hard – so the saying goes. It is tricky to start any new job,   but moving to a new organisation  must be one of the most challenging    things to do in your working life. No one likes being the new boy/girl. You    know less about the place than the most junior person there about the day-   to-day stuff ( what do I do to get my laptop mended?) , you  inherit a team    you do not know and people who went for the job and didn’t get it may feel   resentful.

 

  • Be aware that emotions may run high particularly when people are brought in from outside the organisation.  Try to understand what your team may be thinking and feeling. This is a big change for them.
  • The organisation should do their best to set you up for success. Have your boss/ colleagues/appointment committee do an email intro and then introduce you personally the first time you meet the team.
  • Think what message your appointment is meant to convey and let that be a strong theme of how both the organisation and you  introduce yourself to the team.
  • Do not use first few team meetings to say how you are going to change things.Use the time to establish credibility and make connections!
  • Show humility and mention the existing achievements of the organisation, their previous boss and –  most importantly  – the team themselves.
  • Introduce yourself in terms of your values – both personal and professional and the achievements of which you are most proud.
  • Gain credibility by giving your strategic view of the industry and the company within it.
  • Despite everything, there may be conflict in the first year after your appointment. Stress from the start your approach is one of open and honest communication.

Look forward!  Do the above but then remind yourself that there will be a point six months from now – when you will be old news and things will be working well. 

 

The Shapes of Stories

Kurt Vonnegut was a master storyteller. In four and a half minutes he shows the emotional journeys that give stories their shape. It is brilliant and witty and worth a look.

Thanks to Park Howell for drawing our attention to this gem on his great blog at parkhowell.com.

The Ultimate Guide to Mixing & Mingling

Hate walking into  room where you don’t know too many people ? Most of us do. Here’s how to turn you from feeling stuck into social glue!

Read the Room–Kindly

When you arrive at the event, survey the landscape and create a plan for how to work the room.

  1. Apply the 1-2-3 rule–people at events tend to congregate in groups of ones, twos, and threes. Approach the “ones” first. They are people just like yourself, shy to engage with others; they will be the most welcoming. Twos and threes are more difficult to approach but read on.
  2. Look for Twos Standing in a V Formation–when two people are standing in an open V formation, they are usually open to others joining their discussion. Avoid people standing directly across from each other; this indicates they are engaged in a closed conversation.
  3. Use the ballroom waltz trick for joining a closed group of two–follow this advice for “breaking in” to talk to someone you know. Approach the other person he is speaking to and ask permission from him to join. For an elegant example, check out how Ralph Feinne’s does this in the movie The English Patient in this video. (The action happens at 1:06.)
  4. Use the O or U Rule for groups of three or more–a group of people standing in a circle is the hardest to join. Look for groups arranged in a U formation.
  5. Be Genuinely Interested in the people you are talking to, in making the event go with a swing, in making connections.

All this is true for any situation – business or social. Take a look at the full event and networking article by David Lavenda and Susan Fisher published in in Fast Company . http://m.fastcompany.com/3020734/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/15-tips-to-master-the-awkward-networking-waltz

Connecting With People – 4.74 degrees of separation?

The news from Facebook and the University of Milan research is that the famous “six degrees of separation” is now down to 4.47 or even less.
That is fine on the internet where connections are obvious but what does that mean for real life?

We believe it is only by talking to people that you can find out about those connections. This is  a good reason for more small talk – call it “connecting talk”.

Here are our guidelines for great small talk that leads to bigger things.

1. Before you meet new people come up with 2 or 3 three things to talk about as well as 3 general questions that will get others talking. Try to remember things about the people you have met before.
2. Be the first to say “Hello.” If you’re not sure the other person will remember you, offer your name first to make things smoother. For example, “Dan? David Green — good to see you again.”
3. Make an extra effort to remember names.
4. Watch your body language. People who look ill at ease make others uncomfortable. Act confident and comfortable, even when you’re not.
5. Get the other person talking by leading with a statement regarding the event or location and then asking a related open-ended question. For example, “Attendance looks higher than last year, how long have you been coming to these conferences?”
6. Stay focused on your conversational partner by actively listening and giving feedback. Maintain eye contact. Never glance around the room while they are talking to you. To be seen looking for someone   “better “ to talk to is very insulting.
7. Stay away from negative or controversial topics .
8. Have something interesting to contribute. Keep up an interest in (non-controversial) news and start conversations based on that.   You could start with
“What do you think of …?”       “Have you heard …?”      ”What is your view on …?”
9. Before joining another group or entering into a conversation that’s already in progress, observe and listen. You don’t want to interrupt the dynamic or butt in.
10. Do not tell long-winded stories or give a lot of detail in casual conversation.
11. Have a few exit lines ready so that you can both gracefully move on.
For example, “I need to check in with a colleague over there,” or “ Well, enjoy the evening” or  you can offer to refresh their drink.