Have you just accepted a new position at a brand new company? Congratulations, this is an exciting time! We’re guessing that you’re really focused on doing a great job, the projects you want to start, the organizational processes you want to change. But before you think about any of that, you need to focus on something else first: how to introduce yourself to a new team.
This may seem trivial, but as you’ll see in this article, first impressions are extremely important. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 10 tips to help you introduce yourself properly. Keep reading to learn the secrets of a winning introduction.
The importance of a first impression
It’s a well-worn saying that you never get a second chance at a first impression. The statement is true. Your new colleagues and employees will start forming their opinions about you within the first minute of meeting you–opinions that will be hard to sway after they’ve been made.
And while it’s not impossible to flip the script, screw up an initial meeting with new office mates, and eventually win them back over, we recommend simply getting things right the first go round. This will allow you to build your entire relationship with your new team on a solid foundation.
So how do you do it? What can you do to ensure, from the beginning, that you’re leaving the right impression on people and that they’re perceiving you in a positive light? We have 10 tips to help you, which we’ll go over in the next section.
Introduce yourself properly with these 10 tips
Ready to make the ultimate first impression and learn how to introduce yourself to a new team? Follow the 10 tips below and you’ll be well on your way to winning your new colleagues and staff over from the get-go.
And don’t worry, none of our tips will require you to “put on a show” or become something you’re not. They’re just tried and true strategies for presenting one’s self in a positive light.
1. Check your attitude
A proper introduction starts with you and your attitude. One of the best ways to create a strong first impression in people’s minds is to greet your new office mates with enthusiasm and a can-do attitude. Positivity is always a great way to win people over, but it’s even more important at work where morale may not necessarily be in tip-top shape.
So put a smile on your face, show that you’re excited to be a part of the team, and exude enthusiasm. It will help endear your new staff to you and help with team development.
2. Look the part
That’s right, a first impression is more than the things you say and do. The way you appear plays a role as well. So make sure you look the part when you first arrive at your new workplace. Does the team wear suits and ties? Do the same. Waltzing in with board shorts and flip flops–even if that’s how everyone dressed at your last job–isn’t a great first look.
Even for companies with casual dress codes, we recommend erring on the side of complete professionalism. If the whole office comes to work in jeans and t-shirts, you might still consider wearing chinos and a polo for at least your first week. It’s still casual, but will also give your new team the right impression about you: that you’re professional and hard working.
3. Get the lay of the land
Remember that you’re the new one at the office. Even if you’re the boss and you’ve been brought in to lead the team, there’s a status quo that your new staff is probably comfortable with. Destroying it completely at the very beginning won’t win you any friends. So, before you make any changes, get the lay of the land first.
Find out the skills that each of your team members possess, who is easy to work with and who has more of a prickly personality, the company processes that your team enjoys using, etc. Anything and everything that will help you get a clear picture of what goes on at your new office will be helpful.
If needed, you can always make changes at a later date. We just don’t recommend upending your entire company culture on day one. Your new team definitely won’t appreciate it and they’ll likely become guarded with you.
4. Listen before you speak
This is just good advice in general. But it’s absolutely essential advice when you’re learning how to introduce yourself to a new team. As we mentioned in our previous tip, don’t just barge into your new office and start making changes. Learn to listen first. Ask questions and get your team’s opinions.
This approach has two major benefits. First, your staff will appreciate it when you ask for their input. We all want to feel important and when the new boss asks what we think, we feel valued. This alone will help you win over new colleagues.
And second, it gives you the chance to learn about your new place of work. An existing company process may seem ridiculous to you. But perhaps there’s a method behind the madness. You’ll never know if you don’t listen, and you could potentially harm your new company if you eliminate crucial processes.
5. Take the initiative
It’s important that you take the initiative in the beginning and introduce yourself to your new office mates. Don’t wait for them to come to you. This will make you seem much more approachable as well as likable. Nobody wants to work for the elusive grouch who’s too busy to meet with his employees.
And remember, when you do introduce yourself, remember your attitude. Make sure you seem positive and excited to be where you are.
6. Acknowledge the entire staff
When taking the initiative and meeting your new team members, do your best to meet everyone. Don’t only focus on the decision makers at your new company. Lower rung employees will notice and you’ll be seen as a shallow ladder-climber.
Remember, each person in your new organization, from the highest level executive to the greenest intern, plays a role. Acknowledge them all (or at least try to) and you’ll win a ton of first impression bonus points!
And who knows? In a few years that intern may be running the entire show. If that ever happens, you’ll be glad that you took a few minutes at the beginning of your relationship to introduce yourself properly.
7. Get your hands on an org chart
Depending on the size of the company you’re now working for, remembering all the names and faces that you just introduced yourself to may be a challenge. That’s where an organization chart (org chart for short) can really come in handy.
So don’t be afraid to ask the HR department for this document. It will help you recall names, understand who does what inside the company, and who to contact for specific things.
8. Follow up promptly
This is definitely a pro-level tip, mostly because so few people do it. Stand out from the crowd and really learn how to introduce yourself to a new team by following up via email with each person you’ve just introduced yourself to. If you can’t do this for everyone, at least message the main people you’ll be interacting with on a regular basis.
You don’t have to write anything long and complicated. In fact, short and to the point is better. Just tell them that you enjoyed meeting them, you appreciate their time, and that you look forward to working with them in the future. Then invite them to reach out to you if they ever need assistance or have questions.
9. Organize relationship building opportunities
Great working environments are built upon strong office relationships. As the new guy or girl, it would behoove you to try building these relationships as soon as possible. If you’re the boss, attempt to organize relationship building opportunities soon after arriving. For example, you could schedule a team lunch or after work drinks at a local pub.
You might be tempted to skip this step, especially if you feel like you have a lot of work. But working effectively isn’t necessarily about working long hours. Try using the Toggl Track time tracker to time some of your tasks or break. Did you just spend 15 minutes checking Twitter? You can definitely spare 15 minutes getting a coffee with the person who sits next to you.
If you aren’t the boss, you obviously don’t have the authority to plan anything official during work hours. But that doesn’t mean your relationship building opportunities are dead in the water. Far from it! Ask your new colleagues on an individual basis if they’d like to get together for lunch or meet up after work.
10. Embrace change
Finally, the last tip for how to introduce yourself to a new team that we have is to embrace change. Things at your new workplace will be different than the last. Some things will probably be better. Others might be worse. That’s called life.
Adapt to your new surroundings. Change what you can when it makes sense. But also realize that you’re starting a new chapter. Keep an open mind and your new office mates will be much more likely to think favorably of you from the very beginning.
Learning how to introduce yourself to a new team isn’t always an easy task, especially if you’re not an overly outgoing person. But it’s definitely possible, no matter what personality type you have, to make a first impression that endears you to your new colleagues.
Just remember to follow our 10 tips, listed again below for your convenience:
- Check your attitude: One of the best ways to make a great first impression at your new job is to exude joy and enthusiasm.
- Look the part: Make sure that you look the part and dress professionally when first meeting your new colleagues.
- Get the lay of the land: Before you decide to make any changes, get the lay of the land first. Understand what exactly you’ll be changing and how the office will be affected.
- Listen before you speak: When introducing yourself to a new team, listening will help your new colleagues feel valued and give you the chance to gain valuable insights.
- Take the initiative: Go introduce yourself to your new team; don’t wait around expecting them to come to you.
- Acknowledge the entire staff: Don’t just pay attention to the main decision-makers at your new company. Be a class act and meet everyone you can.
- Get your hands on an org chart: An org chart will help you remember the people you’ve just met, what they do, and how to contact them.
- Follow up promptly: A quick email follow-up with the people you just met is a great way to leave a strong first impression.
- Organize relationship building opportunities: Work relationships are very important and relationship building opportunities allow you to build upon your first impression.
- Embrace change: Things will be different with your new team than they were with your old one. Embrace this fact.
And remember, while first impressions are important, there are ways to swing public opinion back in your favor should you screw up an initial meeting. Now, congrats on your new position and good luck!