As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression.
When addressing your new team, first impressions are critical. Impressions are especially essential to build confidence in leadership and the organizations goals.
This first meeting forms an opinion of the team, individuals, leaders and your goals and is imperative to the new teams' success.
Many teams form without a formal meeting. Instead, teams are just randomly thrown together and told to perform. Randomly piecing together a group garners uncertainty and people can become critical of others role. Most teams come together for a reason, and the people involved are essential to success.
Thus, we need to highlight each team members skills and contribution and reinforce the goals of the group.
A new team kick-off meeting is critical, and it sets the tone for the group and future meetings.
A new team kick-off meeting should overview:
- The project. What is the team coming together to accomplish? Why? What are the timelines? What are the action items and benefits of the project?
- Team member roles and experience. Set aside time for team members to describe their background, history, capabilities, and lessons learned. Outline who is responsible for what, who reports to who, and who is taking the primary leadership role.
- Management and leadership expectations. Leadership should be evident on what the objectives of the team are, how often they should be meeting and how to track progress.
- Provide an opportunity to ask questions and clarify direction.
Remember busy teams come together for a reason, and now members will have to manage priorities from their regular job and new team responsibilities. Help team members potentially set guidelines and manage priorities and multiple assignments.
A typical New Team Kick-off Meeting Agenda might look like this:
Introduction from the team leader. Talk about yourself, give a brief work history. Help the team understand why you are leading this group and what your vision for the team is. Leaders build respect when they are straightforward and transparent.
Introduction of team members- Give an overview of each members background to create credibility. Briefly outline their role on the team.
Create enthusiasm for the goals of the work. The speech should be upbeat and positive building hope for the future.
Provide an overview of project objectives and how to manage multiple priorities.
Discussion of goals and priorities. Be sure the session is interactive so that people can express their ideas and desires and feel a part of the meeting. Nobody likes to be spoken at, but they want to feel included in plans and discussion.
Outline management expectations and other team members involvement
Solicit Questions and Concerns
Acknowledge team members for the extra work and commitment to the project
Make sure to end the meeting in an upbeat tone.
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