As you are starting a new leadership role, you are likely thinking about the professional challenge ahead of you... For weeks or months, you have been considering why the position or organization is a good fit for you, and how you will make your mark in the role. You’re likely pretty excited or nervous—or both. That’s all good.
As you go into those first meetings with your team, though, you need to get out of your head. In order to be successful, your first order of business is building relationships. Step away from that internal dialogue on what’s in it for you, read the room, and empathize…
Ask questions, get curious, get into tell-me-more mode…What are the pain points? What surprises can be avoided? What is it that no one wants to tell you?
When you get to the sharing part, however, make it less about your resume and more about the immediate need-to-know items on their minds...
In my experience writing communications for executives, and being on the receiving end as an employee in the audience of the all-hands meetings, there are three things your team needs to know now. You can get off to a good start by leading with those details. They may not feel comfortable asking, or they may not think to ask. Trust me on this one! Address these three things and you’ll pave the way for open dialogue.
1. What’s new? A new boss means change for you and for them. Address it. As much as you know about what is to come, talk openly about. What priorities are going to change? How will my day-to-day change?
2. Expiration? If it’s an interim role, share the timeline. How long are you here for? What is happening with the search?
3. Meta talk! How will you communicate and keep the channels of info-flow going? Let’s plan for that before things get busy…Specifically:
- Establish a feedback loop – set the tone for sharing feedback (both ways!) early and often
- How are you available – e.g., email, get on my calendar, text, etc.
- Where they can find you – days of the week in the office, travel schedule, etc.
What would you add to the list?
This article was posted Sonia Checchia's LinkedIn articles on October 11, 2023.