It was my first week as the new team leader. We were having our first 'team' meeting scheduled for 3 hours and there was already grumblings about the length of the meeting. What can I do, this was the first meeting as a team...there was a lot to discuss.
My manager who designed the structure came to address the team, first to support me and
secondly to further provid the members an opportunity to raise any concern. That went well - no concern raised and she left.
My hands were invisibly sweating. Where do I start? Give a lecture on expectations or focus on our current work with the countries. I took the easy route...there was still time to be the leader setting the expectation. So I led the discussion on the countries; current risks, opportunities and our action plan.
However, I made a short statement explaining my priorities in the short term - meeting with our business partners/key stakeholders to introduce the new structure, understand their expectation from and to us and generally start building relationships that are very important to our success. In addition of course, having one to ones (famous 121) with each of my direct reports (7 out of 8 reports to me directly). Was there a lot of smiling faces around the room...eh no, a few nods.
So my strategy here was to focus on those external to the team, let the team continue their day to day routine whilst getting used to my presence and then meet the team members one to one.
All the while I will be gathering information that would help to shape the team going forward.
In the mean time the team started a communications training programme using Bolton & Bolton personality type. It was very illuminating. I was glad this was already planned before the new structure. It would help not only each member to understand their own style but to understand each team member better.
Stay tuned for my experiences developing this group into high performing team!