This is how to conduct your first team meeting as a new manager
Congratulations to your role as new manager for a team!
Perhaps you have become a manager for the first time, or you have got a new team to lead. Regardless, the first meeting as manager for a new team is often a bit exciting. You and your team will probably be a bit curious on each other.
What will the agenda look like, for the first meeting with the new team? Which expectations do you have as a new manager? What message do you want to convey?
First impressions often last, and the first meeting with your team is sometimes the very first time you meet your new staff. Now is the chance to make the first impression!
Regardless if you take over a new team or if you become a manager for the first time, here are some tips on how you can conduct your first team meeting.
Start by building trust
The objective with the first meeting with your new team is not to present the strategy for the coming year, or to tell everyone about all the changes you are going to make.
There will be plenty of time for that later, and if you want to succeed with strategy and changes (link in Swedish), you should involve the coworkers in your new team already from the beginning of that process.
The purpose of the first meeting should rather be to create trust, and to set the tone for the type of culture you want to promote.
In your first team meeting you should focus on:
- Showing that your are worthy your team’s confidence
- Showing that you are humble and ready to learn
- Showing that your purpose is to help the team to succeed
You might think this sounds a bit lame and passive? Remember: you are new and your team will be skeptical to you until they trust you.
Without trust, you will not be able to cooperate together well and your coworkers will not take you seriously. Nothing moves forward without trust.
Then, how do you build trust in your first team meeting? Read on …
Get to know your staff
To get to know your team members personally is extremely important. Spend a little time during your first meeting on at least a few get-to-know-each-other questions with the group. Here are some examples on questions that each and one can answer in front of you and the team:
- Which was your first job?
- What is your favorite food?
- Mention a person that you look up to and why?
- Where are you born?
- What is the best advice that you have received?
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
Think about how you can use the coworkers’ replies in future interactions. E.g. if you know that someone loves ice cream – buy them ice cream for their next birth day.
You obviously will not get to know your staff in depth during your first team meeting – invest more time in this in the future by booking lunches or one-to-one-meetings (link in Swedish).
Talk about yourself on a personal level
This is not just about listing your CV and your performance (even if you obviously can share these things in the first meeting if it feels right). Rather, when you present yourself to the team it is a chance to reveal who you really are, what motivates you, inspires you and gives you satisfaction. The more the team know about the real you, the higher the likelihood that they will trust you.
Share your leadership philosophy: What do you think is the purpose of a manager? What do you value? Who do you look up to? What attracted you to the organization?
Share your purposes: That you are here to help, to enable them to do their best in their careers, to support them to continue to develop, feel well and perform well.
Share your personal interests: What do you like to do in your spare time? What does your family situation look like?
Make sure that you do not spend too big part of the meeting on talking about yourself. When you build trust, the last thing you want is to appear as an egocentric person.
Be clear about the fact that you are in the process of learning
If you want to build trust as a leader you must show that you as well make mistakes and are vulnerable. So let your team know that you do not have all the answers and that you have a lot to learn. This is one the most difficult parts of being a leader. As leaders, it feels like we should have all the answers. To admit that we do not have this, can feel like a hit to our self esteem. But to be open and honest about this helps building confidence in a team – it shows that you are humble, can be wrong and are human, like the rest of your team members.
Good luck with your first team meeting!