There’s almost always some anxiety in introducing yourself to a new group of people. That feeling only gets stronger when you’re introducing yourself as the new manager for a team that existed long before you came around. Plus, the relationship between you and your team can either drive or tank employee engagement and productivity. Your team’s first impression of you can color their work – and that can be a good thing. Below, learn how to introduce yourself as a manager to a new team and start building a healthy, productive dynamic.
- 9 tips on how to introduce yourself as a manager to a new team
- Why is the first introduction important?
- Example of an introduction
9 tips on how to introduce yourself as a manager to a new team
No two project teams work exactly the same way, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to introduction speeches. You’ll have to tailor what you say to your team’s whole vibe. You can start this challenging but rewarding work with the below tips – they often help new managers make a great first impression.
- Get to know your team
- Be positive
- Dress for the job
- Pay attention to your team
- Share your story
- Be clear about your expectations
- Identify roadblocks
- Prepare (and make time) for questions
- Follow up
1Get to know your team
In a management role, you’ll always learn more about your team as time goes on. But where is that knowledge when you first start managing them? Simply getting to know your team early on can build that background. It’s also how you ease the adjustment period as you take over as manager so everything stays on course.
There are a few ways you can learn about your team. You could read your team members’ bio on your organization’s website or look at some of the team’s previous work. You can also schedule one-on-one meetings to get to know each team member personally before your big team-wide introduction.
Your team will often give what they get. If your introduction is unenthusiastic and distant, that negative impression can set in your team’s minds – and they could respond in kind. This reaction only hurts your team’s productivity and work quality. On the other hand, being friendly and positive in your introduction can help build trust between you and your team. That means less time getting used to the new situation.
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3Dress for the job
For better and for worse, what you wear on the job can play a big role in people’s first impressions of you. That’s why you should dress to impress, but that doesn’t have to mean a suit and tie. Dress codes vary from workplace to workplace, and wearing the right thing can show that you’re willing to fit the company culture. And sometimes, wearing clean, well-fitting clothes can boost your confidence, which serves you well when speaking to your new team for the first time.
4Pay attention to your team
Even if you researched your team before officially taking over, second-hand research is no substitute for firsthand experience. Showing up and trying to overtake the team’s usual processes can create more problems than solutions. Instead, pay attention to how your team works, and mold yourself in their shape. by showing interest in your team. Watch how they make their magic and figure out which management styles do and don’t dovetail with that. You’ll fit right in and bring great results to life.
5Share your story
Don’t be afraid to share personal anecdotes in your introduction. Doing so can help you establish a rapport with your team sooner than later, and that’s great for collaboration. You don’t have to go too deep into your background – basic information like when you started working in your field can go a long way. You can also sparingly share personal information – a bit of friendliness can help you seem more trustworthy.
6Be clear about your expectations
As you make yourself known, you should also tell your team what you expect of them. Describe the goals you have for everyone while showing how highly you think of their current work. Setting your expectations early can give employees time to adjust to your management style while motivating them to achieve project milestones.
Even the most successful team members include people who sometimes struggle with their work. Maybe there’s something in the way – and if there is, the whole team becomes less productive. As you step into your new management role, try to identify these struggle areas. Then, offer some ideas to get past this roadblock. You’ll show that you care while providing a totally new perspective. That’s an excellent way to build trust within your work environment.
8Prepare (and make time) for questions
Opening up the floor for questions is good advice for any time you’ve got a bunch of eyes on you, including your manager introduction. The main benefit of a quick Q&A session is that you can nip miscommunications in the bud. These communications can get your time as a manager off to a bad start and set you back in building rapport with the team. Giving everyone the chance to ask questions can clear up misunderstandings and build open communication.
A short follow-up email after your intro can show your new team that you care about their opinions and feel excited about your new role. Your follow-up email shouldn’t be long or complicated – as with most emails, brevity is key. Just show that you’re eager to work with your team and willing to hear any concerns – great relationships will typically follow.
Why is the first introduction important?
Introductions set the stage for what’s to come. How you present yourself to your team for the first time can build an impression that’s tough to shake. That impression can consciously and subconsciously affect how your team reacts to you. Not doing an introduction at all can say a lot about you too – namely, that you’re uninterested. And that’s probably not true! So go ahead and give that exciting introduction – it’s your chance to shape how your team sees you. It also comes with the below benefits.
Shows your commitment and enthusiasm
Joining an already established team can be nerve-wracking, but there’s a way to feel better about it: research. You can find previous projects the team has completed and figure out what they most value during a project. With this information, you can commit yourself to the team’s goals and come off genuinely enthusiastic in your introduction. And a team that sees an invested, excited manager is typically more motivated than one whose manager drags their feet.
Eases the transition process
Introductions can help ease your team’s adjustment period since they preview your management style. After you introduce yourself, there should be few surprises on how you’ll run the ship and some seeds of trust you can grow over time. Of course, there will still be some kinks to iron out before everything goes perfectly, but a good introduction kick-starts the process.
Builds positive relationships
Work environments are best when team members aren’t afraid to reach out to each other and collaborate. That’s why, if you’re joining an established team, they probably already have an established rapport, and new management can be a tough change. However, an effective introduction helps ease that dynamic right out the gate. It’s the foundation of positive relationships in the long run.
Example of an introduction
Even with the above advice, introductions can still be challenging. There are so many factors to consider – company culture, team values, you name it. If you’re still nervous about your introduction, feel free to use the following templates.
Via video-conference apps
Use this template if your introduction is taking place over video chat.
Hello everyone! Thank you for being here today. My name is [your name], and I’ll be your new project manager moving forward. Before we get started, I want to take some time to tell you about myself.
[Here, include two quick personal facts that are relatable for your team]. [Next, talk about your relevant experience – namely, how many years of experience you have and what you’ve done in the past]. Together I’m confident we can all [state a few quick goals]. I’m looking forward to working with all of you.
Use this template if you’re introducing yourself through email.
My name is [your name], and I’m your new manager here at [organization]. I’m looking forward to building relationships with our stakeholders and assigning work based on your strengths – which I also look forward to learning. I’m confident we can all find creative ways to [list a few quick goals].
I’ve taken this role because [list a quick reason or two]. I hope to meet all of you in person in the near future. Before I came here, I [describe your recent past work experience]. Outside work, I like [describe a few short things you like to do].
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. I’m happy to share more about what I’ll be doing here, and I’m excited to figure out how I can best support you.
[Your name and title]
Use this template if you’re introducing yourself in person.
Hello. I’m [your name], and I’m your new manager here at [organization]. Let me start by telling you why I’m here. My goals include [list some quick goals and expectations]. I’m excited to work with you all to meet those goals and to hear what’s worked well for you in the past.
I’ll be scheduling time for one-on-one meetings with each of you so I can learn how to best get you where you’re going. Feel free to reach out whenever before then with questions, ideas, or concerns. I’m really excited to start working with you all.
An introduction to success
Introducing yourself to a team as a manager can be anxiety-inducing whether the team is established or brand-new. With the advice provided above, you’ll have a better shot at crushing your introduction, and there are more resources at your disposal too. Fellow is home to a host of high-quality tools to help your team do their best. You can also plan and run one-on-one meetings for your individual introductions – and then hit the ground running.