There are a couple of really important things that I ask every new person who joins our team to be extremely intentional about. They’re mostly in regards to internal organizational culture. Here are a couple of them.
MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS
Let’s start from the basis that we will not assume anything. Which means that I will clearly communicate everything that’s important for you to know – even if I have a hunch that you already know what I’m about to tell you. I would rather say it and you tell me that you already knew instead of not saying it because I didn’t want you to feel like I was insulting your intelligence by telling you something that I assumed you already knew.
(Congratulations if you understood that last sentence...)
Not assuming means that we will need to OVER COMMUNICATE with each other – especially in the beginning. I’d rather have to ask you to communicate less than get frustrated by the problems that arise when we’re not communicating enough.
(This is why I think one-on-one meetings should be much more frequent with new hires in the beginning. Part of our role as their direct supervisor is making sure that we’re making ourselves available for the very thing we’re asking them for. In this case – clear communication.)
ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS
Take plenty of time to learn about us. Have an inquisitive posture with everyone on the team. Learn our story. Learn why we do what we do.
This is important because your fresh eyes will soon see better ways of doing certain things. This is good! BUT….before you tell us how we can do it better, show respect by taking the time to understand why it’s being done the way it is. That will score you a ton of points with the team.
Stephen Covey said it best: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Don’t assume that your idea hasn’t already been thought of. There may be a very legitimate reason why it’s still being done the way it is. BUT…..on the other hand, there may not be! And that’s a big part of the reason why you’ve been hired to join our team!
But….no matter what – always take time to understand the stories behind things before you try changing them. It’s as simple as asking: “Tell me about _______, what have your thoughts been about that?” That will go a long way.
What are a couple of the biggies you communicate to new people who join your team?