How to join a new team with confidence

In a recent meeting, we were counting up the number of teams each person in the room was a member of. The numbers added up very quickly and when we focused on how many new teams were likely to be forming, it was easy for people to see a few new teams on the horizon.

Joining teams, whether from scratch, or as part of an intact team is something everyone at work is probably going to need to get better and better at. So, we thought we’d try and provide you with some useful stuff that will help you become a team-joining legend.

Reading time: 3 minutes

What goes on

In both sport and business, we’ve helped many people we’ve worked with join new teams, whether in their existing company, or in totally new companies.

We’ve found some simple thinking and individual strategies minimise the worry and maximise the speed to effective performance within the team.

Five performance truths

  1. We’ve never come across a high performing team that sets out to make it hard for new people to join it. They’re usually in a mindset of trying to make it as easy as possible for you.
  2. Your place on the team is very likely to have been earned because of who you are and the track record you have. When joining a team, it’s not a time to deny the obvious qualities you have that have allowed you to be in the position you are.
  3. It’s a lot easier to join a team when you get the essential information about team purpose, team goals and team roles as early as possible. Know in as much detail as possible the formation of the team you’re joining so you can see how you’re going to bring your strengths and experience to the collective effort.
  4. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make a big impact quickly. Focusing on delivering results with and for your new team too quickly usually increases unhelpful thinking and stops you thinking about great performance.
  5. Joining a new team means you can focus on establishing all of the relationships within the team from the strongest foundation you’re likely to have. This is the time to set up the brilliant basics of team relationships superbly.

Three things to do

  1. Be ready to share how your strengths are going to be able to support the team’s overall mission.
  2. Be ready to share the specific support that you value from all team mates, as well as the specific support you’ll want and need from each individual.
  3. Be healthily obsessed with establishing role clarity with everyone as quickly as possible so you’re going to collaborate for team success brilliantly from the outset.


Hamza’s story & top tips

Joining a new team can be a daunting and nerve wracking experience for any person. It is an important transition where not only do we put pressure on ourselves to deliver to our best, we also expect superb communication with people who we’re building new working relationships with. Given the pressure and stress we put on ourselves to be amazing straight away, it’s not uncommon for this to be a time where you worry a lot!

Here’s some things Hamza found useful to focus on to turn the worry into useful action:

Connect with people

When you’re starting out working with your new colleagues, be yourself. Don’t put on an act. Show them you’re human and making some well intended efforts to start off on the right foot so that all of your skills, knowledge and expertise can be shared with increasing passion and confidence as you work together more.

Don’t be afraid to tell people how you feel. Connection is not just about connecting with new people, it can also be about sharing how you feel with friends and family. If the new relationships at work are not being easy to work out, then then find someone to talk to who you know will listen, support and help you find the next steps to take.

Be prepared

Having applied for the job, you probably know a good amount about the business anyway, but it often helps to do some more homework.  Find out about the history, philosophy and values that have built the company you’re now part of.

Immerse yourself

Having done your homework, it’s now all about immersing yourself into the reality of the new workplace. Really enjoy finding out everything you can about your new culture. Simply show your passion for working with your new team by finding out what it really means to be part of the team and the business.

Focus on your goals

In our eagerness to impress in a new role, it’s very common to set really unrealistic goals about how much we’re going to achieve in the first few months. Set some short term personal and work goals which will help to increase your confidence. Regularly reflect on the goals so that you learn how to strengthen your strengths.

Ask the right questions

Our thoughts are a powerful tool that impact our emotions, behaviours and physiology. Think about all the strengths that you can bring to the team and how you will use them in a positive way to help and support your team. Each morning before work ask yourself helpful questions which will increase your sense of control and confidence:

  • What do I want to find out about today?
  • How can I support my team today?
  • What strengths do I need to demonstrate today?
  • What demands will I be facing today?
  • What resources do I have available to deal with the demands?

Given the stress we put ourselves under, it’s a great time to make sure you’ve got all the tools you need, to give you the best chance of performing to the level you’re aspiring too.