Internal promotion, parachuting into a new team. The first few days as a team leader are crucial and will give the “LA” for the future of events, whether in terms of communication, relationships or organization. It is therefore necessary to be very vigilant not to make a bad start.
1. Communicate. In short, over-communicate! Your arrival causes questions, anxiety, nervousness. Everyone is trying to probe you discreetly, to find out what will change (or not). So play the game of transparency and authenticity. Talk about your priorities, your values (and implement them!). Say you don’t know when it is. If you do, the others will do it more easily.
2. Meet (really!) each of your collaborators as quickly as possible, and listen to them! The purpose here is not to talk about you, but to make them talk about their objectives, their skills or aptitudes (hobbies, passions…), their needs, their anxieties etc. Take the time to get to know them, because they represent ALL of the unsuspected potential in terms of skills and creativity, which you can solicit, use or even improve if necessary.
3. Abuse question marks. Make every other sentence you say a question, and let your teams know that you have put yourself in “I’m learning” mode, which leads to a real open-mindedness. On the contrary, the posture of the “one who knows” can only imply judgments and narrow-mindedness which will only make you lose credibility.
4. Learn how to do your team’s work (if you weren’t part of it before). Getting involved will give you real credibility and exemplarity: and you will have a better idea of the constraints experienced by your employees, which will be useful if you have to implement changes, for example.
5. Really assert yourself as a leader, once the inventory is done: give “officially” the direction in which you want to go. If you identify problems, talk about them and get help to develop a plan. Be clear about your intentions and seek each other’s advice: this will allow each team member to position themselves clearly, rather than trying to pull the plug on themselves in a roundabout way.