Team Drama Queen: How to Better Connect with New Coworkers

This Emerging Leader post by Kendall Markham is a follow up to her post last Thursday on working for a new leader. Great insights, Kendall!

If you read last week’s post on working for a new leader, you know that I’m the new kid on the block in a new job. As you can imagine, the learning opportunities that come along with starting a new career don’t end with learning how to work with my new leader; they extend to adjusting to the new personalities and new people who are now my new teammates.

As Linda mentioned in Monday’s post, encountering a bit of team drama is something new employees can expect. However, as the new employee throwing things off balance, you have the ability to resolve small challenges before they result in big problems by pausing, stepping back, and taking a look at how you can overcome communication and personality barriers before they seriously impact the entire team.

Here are three things that I’m currently doing to intentionally create and grow positive and productive relationships with my new coworkers.

1.  Be self-aware. Figure out where the miscommunications and misunderstandings are and what you need to do to fix them. This means you might have to have an uncomfortable conversation with a new teammate, but approach them with a humble heart, an open mind, and the willingness to change.

2.  Learn to serve. Figure out ways to serve your new colleagues. Simple ideas for serving can include staying late to help a colleague finish a project; offering to take something off your coworker’s plate if you’re ahead on your own projects; or covering the office during lunch so that another colleague can join their teammates for lunch. Serving can do wonders to improve a relationship, and it’s one of the easiest ways to grow because serving doesn’t always come easy. However, leading is all about serving. Practice serving your peers at this level and you’ll find it easier to serve those you lead later down the road.

3.  Give people the Triple A Treatment. This concept is from John Maxwell’s 25 Ways to Win with People.  Maxwell asserts that what people want is attention, affirmation, and appreciation.  Go out of your way each day to lead and build relationships with your team members by giving colleagues the attention, affirmation, and appreciation they need.

Taking on a new career with a new boss and coworkers is much more challenging than I anticipated, but it’s also been a great opportunity for me to stretch my own personal and professional growth. I’m still learning and I still have challenges to overcome, but instead of being overwhelmed with the newness of it all, I’m learning to embrace the changes as learning opportunities, and I’m looking forward to the future with a sense of optimism and excitement.

Kendall Markham* is a young leader who enjoys travelling, sports, and volunteering. She values leadership because of the impact it has made on her life. *Our emerging leader bloggers are real leaders, but their names have been changed to allow them to blog about their real-life experiences and lessons learned. Check out the entire series of Emerging Leader posts.

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