Starting a new job is always a nervous time. You wonder if you’ve made the right call, whether the role is right for someone so unqualified and what your new colleagues think about awkward first impressions.
It’s all part of the ride.
Only once you’ve got over those initial nerves and are across the local lunch spots can you really make an effort and get to know your new sidekicks. And you absolutely must make that effort, because if you become known as an arid personality early on, it can be a long road back into your colleagues’ social circle.
A particularly gregarious friend of mine has this mate-making routine down pat after working as a project manager in a string of IT companies, a role that requires good relationships to get things done. He gets things going from day dot with this simple, structured approach.
Know everyone by name.
You have one job in your first week; remember the name of each team member. Say it three times, draw a caricature, write it down somewhere…Whatever it takes to nail them all next week.
Discover a personal interest.
The second week is where the real work starts. Now you need to find out one non-work related interest of each person. It doesn’t need to be a common interest, just something that takes your relationship broader than work.
Establish common ground.
The next step is to find some common ground. You’ve probably discovered this for a few of your closer colleagues by now, the challenge is establishing common ground with everyone else on the team.
Have lunch with each team member.
The hard work has been done and you should have the foundation of some pretty solid work relationships. All that’s left is to solidify those bonds over lunch with everyone at least once in your first month.
That might be a couple at a time or one-on-one, whatever the case, it’s about allowing the time for your relationships to naturally develop.
These four steps form a simple and very achievable plan to establish good personal and working relationships with everyone in your team. Despite its simplicity, it’s also a lot more than most people do, so by making the effort you’re going to give yourself the best chance of becoming a central figure in any organisation.
It’ll get you noticed, increase the enjoyment you get out of your role and might just secure you some lasting mates.
And with team culture and strong relationships integral parts of any highly productive business, this effort ought to be rewarded at the negotiation table too.