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I've started new position on my company, and I need to get to know the team members (although I'm already familiar with some of them).

What items should we discuss in an initial one on one meeting to help make this transition successful?

closed as too broad by Jim G., jmort253 Oct 7 '13 at 0:50

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    Hi Adam, this is a broad question, but I've edited it a bit to focus on the fact that this is an initial one on one, introductory meeting. It's always a good idea to put important information from the title of your post also in the body. Can you take a look and, if there's any more pertinent details you can add that will help get better answers, edit that info in and flag the post and I'll reopen. Hope this helps! :) – jmort253 Oct 7 '13 at 0:56
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I am assuming that these one-on-one meetings supplement a full-team meeting where you've communicated about broader issues (where the team is going, any changes in goals or processes, etc). Covering that stuff in each one-on-one meeting would be inefficient; do it once where the whole team can benefit from the conversation, including hearing others' questions and the answers.

When I've gotten new leads (most recently a couple months ago), we've talked about the following in one-on-one meetings:

  • My performance goals for the year. Two reasons: (a) in case we need to adjust any of them because of the leadership change, and (b) to highlight any where I'll need my lead's help in order to meet the goal.

  • What I've been doing on the team so far and how I feel about it. This is a great time to say "I'm really excited about X" or "I've been doing Y for a while and I'd kind of like the chance to do something new" or "I've been helping so-and-so ramp up on Z".

  • Developments the new lead knows about that might affect me (e.g. we're planning to increase our internal training, so think about topics you might teach). Sometimes the lead volunteers information here, but sometimes my questions started the conversation.

  • Misc. process stuff, e.g. do you want to meet regularly to chat? My new lead is not local to me, so we talked about meetings and travel.

This usually takes 30-60 minutes in my experience.

There's another set of useful topics: how things are going on the team, meaning the things that don't make it into official reports -- minor process problems, requirements churn, particularly-buggy parts of the code, the difficulty of getting conference rooms, whatever. I've found that it's generally better to wait for a second meeting unless something is particularly urgent; you'll have enough other stuff to worry about, most likely, and you'll be better-equipped to handle things of this nature once you've met with everybody and have a sense of the team.

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What items should we discuss on that meeting? (my expectation from the team, their expectation from me.. etc)

Yes, yes, and etc...

As a new leader, you need to convey to your team what you expect of them and how they can deliver on those expectations. You need to tell them what they need to do in support of your team goals, and the company goals.

As a new leader, you also need to learn what they need from you in order to be successful personally, and to succeed in their role.

You and the team also need to understand each others' personalities, learning styles, customs, culture, and methods of working together.

Whenever a team has a new leader, there is uncertainty and sometimes apprehension. Team members need to understand what has changed, their role, how they fit in, where the team is going, etc. Sometimes change is good, sometimes it's bad. You are in a position to paint a picture of what you see for the team, why it is good for the company, and why it is good for them as well.

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