What to talk about on the first day of work as a leader and how to act?
As much as it seems very difficult and complex to find the answers to this question, nothing is as complicated as you might think. Including, a great way to start figuring out what to do is to remember your competence.
You were hired, or promoted, because you are a highly skilled professional capable of taking on a leadership role. Bearing this in mind will help you maintain self-confidence and security in following your instincts according to your professional experience.
However, for targeted and objective tips on what to say and how to act on your first day as a manager, check out the lists we’ve organized below.
How to act on the first day in leadership?
As much as you urgently want to know what to say, first we need to take a step back. To start building a good image as a leader, it is essential to know what to do in the first interactions with your new team, and therefore, how you should act.
1 – Show sympathy and empathy
The days of domination by “bosses” who were rigid, moody, cold and impersonal are long gone. Nowadays, the role of leader presupposes human, friendly, empathetic professionals capable of providing all the support your team needs.
So, from the beginning, show that you are that professional and remember those two words, sympathy and empathy, every time you act or say something. By placing them at the center of your management, the chances of success and connection with the team will be much greater.
2 – Be humble, after all, you are starting in a new position
Many leaders arrive at their new companies with a know-it-all attitude. Because they are in a higher position, they believe they already know everything they need to know, and even without realizing it, they assume an arrogant behavior.
Regardless of your experience, or even knowledge of the company, if you were promoted, assuming a leadership position is never simple. It requires diving into the new company, role and department, discovering the challenges, problems, goals and, most importantly, the people who are now part of your team.
Being arrogant goes against the ideals of empathetic and sympathetic leadership. In addition, behavior also distances you, right away, from the people who will be part of your daily life from now on.
3 – Tag individual conversations with each member of your team
People need to be at the center of your leadership, and the only way to make that happen is to get to know each and every one of them. Firstly, because they will guide you through the process of discovering the role and the company, showing you everything you need to know. And second, because you need to know who you’re going to work with.
Understanding the personality and behavior of each employee will help you to create a leadership style that works, in addition to being a fundamental step in ensuring the humanization of all processes.
4 – Understand that some people can show resistance
Whether in that initial conversation, or in the first weeks of work, you can see the resistance of some employees. Especially if the last leader’s departure was conflicted, or if he was a person very dear to the team, adapting to a new leadership figure may take a little longer.
To deal with this, be patient, try to get closer, but without forcing relationships and interactions, and show with your actions that you are there to contribute to the work, be an ally and improve the environment for everyone. Over time, team behavior tends to change.
5 – Don’t make promises
Especially in resistance scenarios, many new leaders tend to make promises. Whether to please those led, or to show competence, this attitude should not be reproduced. Making promises creates hopes and expectations that will not always be met, especially in a job-start context.
You still don’t know all the details and challenges of the position, and therefore, you cannot make promises that, many times, will only frustrate your team.
What to talk about on the first day of work as a leader?
After so many tips, you already have some idea of what you should and shouldn’t talk about, right? But let’s take it easy, because below you will find many other suggestions and tips for the first day at work.
1 – Introduce yourself and ask the team to introduce themselves too
With the principles of sympathy and empathy, start your new journey by introducing yourself. Talk about your professional career, your latest experiences, mention some items from your personal life and don’t forget to do the opposite exercise.
Despite the individual conversations, it’s always interesting to have a group dynamic so that people on your team have a chance to introduce themselves. You don’t need anything very elaborate, just information such as name, role, how long you’ve been with the company, training and some curiosity about your personal life.
With this, you can already establish a first connection with employees, facilitating future interactions.
2 – Talk a little about your way of working and goals, but carefully
In this presentation, and also during other conversations, it’s nice to detail how you like to work, what you see as goals for this role and other information of the kind. However, be careful how you choose to do this.
You don’t want to be authoritative, and as we’ve already mentioned, much of the nature of the job can only be known after reading many documents, many conversations and some time in the role. Therefore, assume a lighter tone, with suggestions and expectations, making your subordinates comfortable with the new manager.
3 – Make it clear that you are ready to welcome, help and boost the team
Remember how outdated the “boss” posture is? Nowadays, you’ll want to be a welcoming leader, who takes responsibility for the team, helps and encourages them in their daily lives. These values and behavior must be present from the beginning, and whether in the presentation or in individual conversations, make a point of making this clear.
You don’t need to assume a fatherly or professorial tone, but rather a posture that conveys confidence and puts you in the role of an ally.
4 – Show your happiness with the new professional cycle
It may seem insignificant, but showing that you are happy with the new opportunity makes all the difference. Careful not to sound forced, voice your satisfaction with the position and the chance to do meaningful work with a new team.
5 – Always be objective, firm and confident in your speeches
A characteristic that is part of “what to talk about on the first day of work as a leader”, and will accompany you until the last day in the role, is firm, objective and confident speech. Your team expects to find all these characteristics in you, and it is through communication that you will start to show that you value dialogue, are reliable and know what you are doing.