Moving into a new role is one of the biggest challenges you can face as a manager. In fact, nearly half of all new managers fail at their assigned objectives. The good news is that being strategic about how you start your new role can have a big impact on your effectiveness as a leader.
The first step to a successful transition is to think about how you want to introduce yourself to your new team. According to Michael Watkins, your introduction is an opportunity to hit the ground running and set your team up for success.
“Step back and ask yourself questions like, what new relationships do I need to build to be effective? What things do I need to learn about that I don’t understand today but are necessary? How am I going to get early wins in this situation?”— Michael Watkins, author of The First 90 Days, on episode 11 of the Supermanagers podcast
Much more than just a “hello,” your introduction is a key time to build trust and credibility, set expectations, and build a foundation for your team’s collaboration. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to manage your introduction with helpful tools and examples to get started.
- How to introduce yourself to a new team
- How Fellow can help you introduce yourself to a new team
- Examples of how to introduce yourself to a new team
- First team meeting agenda template
How to introduce yourself to a new team
- Send a positive message or email introducing yourself
- Schedule a team meeting
- Start with an icebreaker or by sharing a fun fact
- Talk about your professional background and experience
- Open the floor for questions from the team
- Write an “about me” or “read me” page
- Schedule one-on-one meetings to connect with each individual
- Set expectations about team meetings and communication cadence
1Send a positive message or email introducing yourself
As soon as you start, send a brief email or message to introduce yourself and express your enthusiasm for working with your new team. Use a friendly subject line like “A Quick Hello” and share a brief description of yourself and your experience. Make sure to learn about the company culture before sending your introduction. For example, if the culture is more relaxed, you can include a few fun facts about yourself; if it’s more formal, stick to a summary of your professional background. Let people know you’ll be scheduling a team meeting followed by one-on-ones and encourage them to reach out with any questions in the meantime.
2Schedule a team meeting
You can make a good impression by running a well-organized introductory meeting with your new team. The objective of this meeting is to establish rapport, learn about your team, and set the tone as a new leader. Creating an agenda and sharing it ahead of time will help you stay on track—we’ve even included a template below! Make sure to read up on your team members before the meeting so you know their names, roles, and some details about their professional skills and accomplishments to begin fostering positive working relationships.
With Fellow, you can easily schedule meetings, automatically share agendas with attendees, and add actions in real time to run a successful first meeting.
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3Start with an icebreaker or by sharing a fun fact
Kick off your meeting with an icebreaker to get to know your new team and help people relax. You can ask a question like, “What’s a bucket list item you want to complete this year?” or “What movie or TV show character do you relate to the most, and why?” or even ask team members to pitch their favorite vacation spot to the group in 30 seconds. Sharing some fun personal facts will help you bond with your new team and allow people to express their personalities. For more ideas, check out our list of the best icebreaker questions.
4Talk about your professional background and experience
Research shows that when forming a first impression, people evaluate two main factors: competence and trustworthiness. Sharing your professional highlights is a good way to demonstrate the former; you can mention companies you’ve worked for, notable projects, and areas of expertise. Be mindful of your tone and body language so you come across as relaxed and confident instead of boastful. If you have previous experience as a manager, you’ve also developed an important set of skills. You can share your managerial experience with your team and briefly describe your management philosophy to demonstrate credibility.
5Open the floor for questions from the team
An effective way to build trust with your team is to invite them to ask questions and to answer openly and honestly. By including a section for questions in the meeting agenda and sharing it ahead of time, you’ll give everyone the chance to come up with any questions. People may have some anxiety or uncertainty about having a new manager, so it’s important to show empathy and support your team members during the transition. Be an active listener when they share questions and concerns, and remember that it’s okay not to have all the answers. In fact, sometimes it’s even preferable; you’ll gain more respect by listening and learning than by coming up with answers immediately.
6Write an “about me” or “read me” page
A best practice in management is to create a ‘user guide’ to help your team members get to know you and explain how you like to work. For example, PatientPing CEO Jay Desai credits his personal user guide as an important part of improving his team’s collaboration. When writing your user guide, include information about your values, expectations, communication styles, and personality traits. You can also add a few interests and hobbies to help people connect with you on a personal level.
If there’s a company wiki, you can add your user guide there; otherwise, share it as a document with your team. User guides aren’t just for managers, either! Encourage your team members to create their own user guides for a fun way to learn more about them.
7Schedule one-on-one meetings to connect with each individual
Schedule a one-on-one with each of your new team members to meet them and address any questions or concerns they may have. Ask them about their communication style, their preferred method for receiving feedback, and how they perceive their strengths and weaknesses. It’s also a good time to find out about their professional goals and how you can support them. These one-on-ones are an important opportunity to build trust on an individual level and lay the foundation for effective collaboration. Sharing an agenda ahead of time will allow people to reflect on their answers before the meeting for a thoughtful discussion.
8Set expectations about team meetings and communication cadence
Establish clear expectations around communication from the start to prevent misunderstandings that could erode trust with your new team. As a group, discuss details like communication channels and frequency, meeting cadence, and response times. Specifically relating to meetings, you can cover how agendas will work, who will take notes, your method for assigning action items, and how you’ll collect feedback to optimize meeting effectiveness.
When setting communication guidelines, make sure to honor company culture and uphold values like trust, open communication, and accountability. To foster mutual respect, don’t forget to ask your team members what communication they need from you to do their best work.
How Fellow can help you introduce yourself to a new team
Make a good impression with your introduction using Fellow! In your first team meeting, there’s a lot to cover—use our ready-to-go templates to make sure you’ve got all the essentials on your agenda. The agenda will be automatically sent ahead of time to help everyone feel prepared and alleviate any first-meeting nerves for you and your team. You can also use Fellow to manage your one-on-ones and record action items, feedback, and notes. Following your initial meetings, Fellow can help you manage effective meetings on an ongoing basis and ensure your team follows best practices before, during, and after every meeting.
Plus, Fellow’s AI-generated agendas help you generate headings and talking points for your meeting based off of the title of the meeting and the calendar description.
Examples of how to introduce yourself to a new team
Here are some example templates you can use for your introductions.
Sending an introductory email
Use this template to send an email introduction on your first day.
Subject: A Quick Hello
It’s my first day here at [company name]. I’m joining the team as the new [job title].
I’ve worked as a [what you do] for [X] years. I recently worked at [company name], where I was the [job title]. You can learn more about me and my experience on my LinkedIn profile. [LinkedIn link]. Outside of work, I enjoy [a few short things you like to do].
I’m really looking forward to working with all of you. I’ll be scheduling a team meeting and one-on-ones to get to know everyone.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions before then. I’m happy to share more about what I’ll be doing here, and I’m excited to find out how I can best support you.
In-person or via video call
Use this template to introduce yourself at your first team meeting in person or on a video call.
Hello everyone! Thank you for being here today. My name is [your name], and I’ll be your new manager going forward. Before we get started, I’d like to briefly share a little bit about myself.
[Two quick personal facts that are relatable for your team]. [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 [a few quick goals]. I’m looking forward to working with all of you.
First team meeting agenda template
Use this template for your first meeting to establish rapport and set the tone for your team’s success.
Your actions in the first few weeks and months can have a big impact on whether your team ultimately delivers results. While a change in leadership always requires team members to adjust, being intentional about your introduction will help make the transition as smooth as possible. However, there’s a lot to remember when getting started—following these steps will make sure you don’t miss any key practices. While trust is built over time and through mutual respect, you’ll be able to start building rapport and good communication from the start. Check out the Fellow blog for more tips and advice for managers to help you lead your new team to success.