You have finally secured that new job!!! You want to make sure you create the best first impression AND set yourself up for long term success by investing in building trust and credibility from Day 1.
Here are the top 10 things new leaders/new employees should avoid:
- Putting On An Over-Confident Front
Many new employees have a tendency to think they need to show the world how smart they are by having all the answers. Being a “know it all” will prevent you from developing trust with your new colleagues. Get to know the skills and talents of the people you are working with so you can ask them for their expertise. People love being asked to share their knowledge and it will reflect well on you. If you need information, ask for it rather than pretend you have all the answers or worse, make up an answer. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing, finding out the answer and following up. Work to find the right balance of offering up your expertise/knowledge and seeking them same from others. Consistently jumping in over top of everyone else during team meetings to “show of” your knowledge can result in you developing a “know it all” reputation which can hurt you in terms of teamwork and cooperation down the road.
- “The Way We Did It At My Last Job”
Bringing experiences from your previous employment is valuable but avoid trying to recreate your previous workplace because it is unlikely to be effective. You are trying to build bridges with your new colleagues and referring to how you used to do it, when used too often, can build walls instead of bridges. Learn to adapt and mold yourself and your experience to your new surroundings and bring your knowledge to this new environment. It isn’t necessary to announce it.
- WAH WAH WAH – Complaining.
Your organization and your credibility do not benefit from others hearing you complain or blaming others/circumstances. If you are upset about something, live with it or deal with it but never whine to others in your organization and certainly never place the blame on another department/employee. If you are overwhelmed by something, speak to your supervisor, a leader of the same level, a colleague at another organization or hire a coach!
- Focus Too Much On Proving Yourself
As a new employee/leader you are eager to prove yourself by diving into projects or tasks and to “go at it alone”. Take the first week to get to know everyone in your area and discover what they are working on and how you can help them accomplish their goals. Keeping your focus solely on your own tasks in order to prove your worth can be seen as not being a team player. Building trust and credibility early by finding out how you can help them will serve you well in the long run.
- Trying To Make Changes Too Quickly
Though it is great to have ideas for making an improvement appearing critical in your first week is a sure-fire way of ruffling people’s feathers. During your first few weeks, think about the issues you have indentified and reserve your comments for a more appropriate time. Use the first week to observe how things are done and ask questions to fully understand why things are done that way.
- Not Giving Credit
Being eager to make a great first impression could lead a new employee to omit communicating and acknowledging the others who contributed to a work end product. Be sure to thank and/or acknowledge, publicly whenever possible, those who have helped you accomplish tasks or get up to speed. Send emails to upper supervisors and go out of your way to show your appreciation. It is not only good practice; it will contribute to others wanting to help you in the future.
Keeping too close an eye on your staff, handling too many of their responsibilities and worse, redoing their work is a fast way to erode trust. Employees who feel that the “boss” is going to do it over again anyway will quickly stop giving their best. In fact by micromanaging you are under-utilizing your own strengths and sabotaging your own success. Delegation requires letting go of perfection and relinquishing control.
Steer clear of trying to make friends with everyone. Respect – yes. Being “liked” – no. Build respect through open communication and authenticity. A leader must lead by principles and keep the needs of the organization and team in mind when making decisions.
- Confusing Commanding with Leading
Commanding relies on getting people to do things through the use of power, coercion and fear of punishment. Leading relies on the ability to inspire performance and desirable actions through reliance on trust, respect, confidence, inspiration, common goals and vision. Avoid approaching people with a “command and control” attitude as it will backfire. Building your personal credibility and trust with people is the path to effective leadership.
- Behaving Inconsistently
Leaders need to be a least somewhat consistent and predictable in their approaches to things while remaining adaptable and flexible. And be sure that your words align with your actions. A follower cannot trust a leader who, one day is pleasant and helpful and on another day is abusive and nasty. Or who, one day makes decisions according to one set of criteria and then the next applies a completely different set to a similar situation. People will also not trust someone who says one thing but does another. Be mindful of the alignment between your words and actions.
Christine Stiller, CHRP, CPCC, ACC is a career satisfaction and life success coach who helps leaders have a positive and powerful impact. For a free consultation contact Christine at www.newhorizonscareercoach.com