Estimated reading time: 2 mins
This isn’t something that gets taught. But it’s one of the most important things to get right to make a good impression on new co-workers and initiate the start of a great working relationship. How do you do it?
Meeting somebody for the first time only happens once. So we want it to be a) pleasant, b) not awkward, and c) the start of a relationship. I’ve provided some simple guidance on what to do when you’re about to meet new co-workers.
A simple introduction is best.
Hi [their name]. I am [my name] and I work in [my department].
Example: You’re from Winsconsin? I had an aunt who lived there. I visited The House on the Rock as a kid. What made you move over this way?
Leave the door open for next time.
We will get to know each other in time, and if you have any questions about [what I do] then please contact me or contact [my colleague].
Have an ‘open expression’ – lots of smiles, open hands and gestures. Engage in eye contact, but don’t glare!
If you’re new to the organization
First-day nerves are gonna get you. Fact. You’ll also be facing information-overload. Fact. This is normal, and to be expected. You have a steep learning-curve to climb. You’ll probably forget most of what you hear, including the names of the people you’re being introduced to. So go easy on yourself and don’t expect to remember everyone’s name and what they do, but try these steps to give yourself the best chance:
- Once the pleasantries are over, use the other person’s name at least 3-4 times whilst looking at their face, in this first discussion. This way you’re more likely to remember it
- Ask this person for their view on how you will work together, and ask for examples
- Ask this person where they work from within the office
If your co-worker has just joined your organization
The same challenges described above will be experienced by the person you’re being introduced to. So my advice is:
- Don’t bombard this person with a soundwall of information, as they’re almost certainly going to forget the detail
- Instead, describe how you envisage working together, i.e. what activities you perform that will impact this person, and/or vice-versa
- Use your own name a few times to help it sink into memory. Also mention where in the office environment you are likely to meet and where you sit
- It’s also helpful to suggest a later time to get together, once the first-day nerves and information-overload is over, and send the meeting request straight away to link your first introduction to the purpose of the meeting
Above all, be likeable and positive
You don’t want to be remembered as a sour-puss. Right?