Building strong connections with your teams is the cornerstone to leadership. When you come in as a new leader in role, this is especially true. You need to inspire people and build strong relationships quickly to get people behind your ideas. You also need to build trust and safety with your teams if you want to be able to communicate effectively. This can be a very big ask for new leaders as they are typically bombarded with a plethora of onboarding documents, SOP’s, training, and other tasks that take up most of the hours of those crucial first few weeks. It’s all about taking the time to come in strong at the beginning so you are fostering your ideal leadership environment from day one. In this article we will offer some straightforward advice to help new leaders start strong in their new role.
Set the example for the culture you want your teams to adopt
You want to come into your new leadership position knowing that your initial behavior and mindset will shape the new standards for your team. People will be watching your behavior and work ethic, and you want to set a good example from the get-go. Try to take the first few weeks in your new role to establish strong connections with key people on the team. Take time to understand each team member’s strengths, challenges, and aspirations. This not only shows that you value them as individuals but also helps in building a foundation of trust and mutual respect, which is crucial for effective leadership.
If there are new practices you would like to introduce try bringing them in sooner rather than later. It is best to instill these new approaches while you are still new to the team, and the rest of your colleagues are still in a change mindset. Try explaining the transformation you would like to see to your team members and encourage feedback. By getting everyone aligned on your vision, you have much more opportunity to get people excited and focused on the change.
Seek resources like executive coaching or mentoring
Being a strong leader in todays work environment is not easy. And coming in as a new leader in role is even more challenging. Luckily, many organizations have programs in place to support their leaders through the help of an executive coach or mentor. We recommend talking to your HR manager about these programs sooner rather than later.
Having regular sessions with a professional coach or mentor gives you an extra hand to help think through problems and build strategies. It’s always helpful to know you have someone to depend on when the turbulence picks up at work.
Encourage constant communication
Setting objectives and best practices for effective teamwork is simple, but maintaining these habits over time can be challenging. Although it may be tempting to postpone a weekly check in meeting when you’re busy, it’s important to spend frequent downtime with your colleagues. Establishing a schedule for team members to check in can be a useful tool. It is a good idea to check in on a regular basis to make sure you are both on the same page, even if you don’t have anything to discuss in your weekly meeting. Maintaining open lines of communication can help your teams feel safer and more trustworthy, and it will also motivate members to come to you as soon as they need assistance.
To summarize, as a new leader, it’s crucial to set a strong example from the start, understanding that your initial behavior and attitude will significantly influence your team’s standards and culture. Building solid relationships is key, which involves taking time in the first few weeks to learn about each team member’s strengths, challenges, and aspirations, thereby fostering trust and mutual respect. Introducing new practices early on and aligning the team with your vision is also important, and seeking support through resources like executive coaching or mentoring can be immensely beneficial. Furthermore, maintaining regular and open communication with your team is essential, ensuring that even during busy periods, there’s a consistent line of dialogue to reinforce a sense of safety, trust, and alignment within the team