Announcing Your Arrival

You’ve landed the new job, and now you’re ready to make your mark.
The pressure is on, or is it? The first observation I will make is there actually is
no pressure. You are creating it by taking yourself too seriously! We all want to
make a difference and I am a big believer in remarkable or outstanding
performance. It is certainly not achieved by cruising along with things as they
are, it is achieved by challenging the status quo.

When you join a new team, you are right to look to create a presence.
That is not the same thing as looking to make your presence felt. T
he former is subtle and happens with time, while the latter tends to come
with force as there is a rush approach to it. Be careful in your endeavor to
let everyone know your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and ensure that
you are balancing that with an ability to curb your enthusiasm.
Your energy and good intentions can make you or break you when you
start in a new environment and you know what they say about first impressions!

Understand your new colleagues by asking questions
 Ask your colleagues what it is that they do and why? Take a genuine interest, 
 to know why they are coming into the office and what they are responsible for. 
 Do not make assumptions and ask the questions to the source, do not go on 
 an opinion from a third party. Be empathetic in your approach as you want to
 know so that you can better be able to serve them and support them in their
 purpose, while doing your job. Do not come across as the Spanish Inquisition,
 rather explain where your line of questioning is coming from and what your
 purpose is.

        Do not judge:
Make observations, but don’t you dare judge. You are asking questions so you
can create a context. You must have an open mind and listen and get to grips
with getting clarity on the bigger picture. Think about the last person that came
and asked you questions to understand a process, and within seconds proceeded
to tell you what you should change in the process. What were you left thinking
about him/her after that behavior?

  • Make notes:
    You are not going to remember everything so write down the feedback you are
    getting. People are happy to help you gain clarity where you are uncertain, but
    nobody enjoys
    repeating themselves, particularly if you are not making any form of effort to record
    or store the feedback somewhere accessible. Your notes are also good when you
    review the feedback later.
  • Mind your own business:
    You were hired to do a job so get on with it. Don’t start doing other people’s jobs,
    or telling them how to do their jobs. You know your internal and external clients
    and what their expectations are, so deliver. Do not start choosing sides or positions
    on your perceived factions within the office politics.

 Things probably worked before you got there, so don’t assume the way to make your
 mark is by changing something immediately! How can you change something if you
don’t understand it? Why should anyone listen to you or understand where you are
coming from, if you have not even given them the time of day to explain their point of
view? It will all come together slowly.

If you are not asking questions you are in big trouble. Any new environment, even
when you know the systems and the lingo should leave you looking for some answers.
If it doesn’t, you are either not needed or you are not thinking. When you understand
more and you have built authentic relationships with your colleagues, you will have
mutual trust, respect and influence. Your observations will make your opinion more
valid to whoever you engage with then.

Now that you fit in, you can consider changing the environment! If you are delivering
remarkable results, it gives the ideas you wish to put forward credibility and your
colleagues will embrace and support the changes you might wish to bring to the
status quo.

 Don’t frustrate yourself and your colleagues by proposing change when you have no
buy in. You are not going to win people over if they feel you don’t have their interests
at heart. If you feel like your colleagues are resisting your ideas, your work will feel like
one big fight after another. You will feel like you don’t fit in and this perceived threat to
you of not getting buy in will only leave you kicking into a fight-or-flight response