Most likely, at some point in your career, you will find yourself in a situation where you will start working with a new team, with people you may not know.
Before starting to work, you need a formal introduction so that the team members get to know you and you get to know them. In this text, we will give you some recommendations and points to consider before taking this first step.
- The first meeting is usually the ideal time to make your presentation, in case it is not organized by the company, ask your superior if it is suitable for you to do it on your own.
- Clothes, body language and non-verbal expression are very important, since they say a lot about the person, besides influencing self-esteem.
- A good presentation has advantages for a long-term relationships with your new team, so don’t think of it as unimportant.
What should you take into account to make your first meeting a success?
Usually, your first meeting with a new work team will be the perfect occasion to introduce yourself, and your integration process into the team will depend to a great extent on this. But before you start, you should consider some points that can facilitate or hinder this moment.
Put yourself in the role of the position you will develop
Before having your first meeting with a new work team, establish, understand and visualize what type of role or position you will develop. In other words, it is not the same to present yourself as a trainee as it is to present yourself as a boss.
For example, Martha Alles explains that being the boss of other people implies taking on a role that demands knowledge, skills and commitment while seeking to achieve a higher goal (1). So, this is something you should not lose sight of when presenting yourself, since your objectives and goals, as well as your colleagues’ expectations of you, will be different.
Show initiative in getting to know your team
Personal initiative is described by Ana Lisbona and Michael Frese through 4 characteristics: self-initiated, proactive, persistent, able to overcome barriers and able to modify the environment (2). In this case, we talk about how it would be appropriate for you to present a self-initiated behaviour, that it is not necessary that someone invites or forces you to perform an activity.
Likewise, being proactive, i.e., anticipating a situation or problem is essential. For example, if you show initiative in getting to know your team, the perception they will have of you may be that you are approachable, friendly and willing.
Ask your company for an organizational chart
An organizational chart is a graph that shows the flow of work and the functions that each position has within a small or large company. This is necessary for those involved to have a clear understanding of each one’s responsibilities.
Having an organizational chart of the company will make it easier for you to know who to contact in case a specific problem arises. If the organization chart has updated photographs of the members, it is much more useful.
Pay attention to the team members
But, the process doesn’t end with just identifying positions and names with faces and responsibilities, it’s important to pay attention to the dynamics of the work team. Since, when you are new, it is not easy to get the group to adapt to you, that will be your job.
In an organizational culture, there is the formal and the informal, i.e., the former consists of the idealized or expected values, beliefs and behaviour of the members (3). In the second case, it refers to how they are in reality. So, with conscious observation, you will adapt with as few mistakes as possible.
We recommend that you note the following:
- Which member is most receptive to questions.
- Who is the official and unofficial leader of the group.
Prepare your work and personal presentation
Usually, one of the first activities is to introduce yourself to your new work team and your bosses. But, ideally, if possible, you should make a presentation beyond your name.
During your job introduction, you can include some of the important jobs you have worked on, how you work and how you can be most easily contacted. On the personal side, you don’t need to include private data if you don’t want to, but you can say your age and any hobbies; the most important thing is to connect with the rest of the team and show yourself more accessible, especially if you have a managerial or similar position.
A good outfit can increase your self-esteem and the way you present yourself to others. This does not necessarily mean dressing formally, as each workspace, area or position has its own etiquette. That is, a position as a lawyer will not have the same needs as that of a graphic designer or doctor.
For example, according to one study, people who wear or think they wear designer or brand-name clothing feel more confident and improve their performance by 20% (4). However, this does not mean that you should invest your next salary in expensive clothes.
Study a little body language and non-verbal expression
Nowadays many companies pay attention to body language when hiring, but it doesn’t stop there. It is believed that it says a lot about your personality and current state, so we recommend that you study a little about the postures you should avoid when meeting a new team.
For example, Judi James recommends the following if you want to avoid (5):
- Crossing arms and legs
- Squeezing books or papers against the body
- Sitting on the edge of the chair
- Twisting hands
- Leg swinging
- Nail biting
- Playing with accessories or hair
- Putting hands in pockets
- Covering mouth when talking
- Crossing arms over chest
- Pointing fingers
- Clenching fists
- Leaning over someone
To be discourteous:
- Cracking your knuckles
- Getting too close
- Putting away documents and folders before the meeting is over
- Shaking hands too hard or too softly
- Constantly looking at the clock
Show your best face, but don’t overdo it
We know that people can’t be smiling all the time, especially if we start the day off on the wrong foot. But, it’s important to try not to bring personal problems to work, especially if it’s your first time meeting a group of people.
If you feel your disposition is flagging during the day, keep introductions short and to the point.
Make eye contact
While constant eye contact may become uncomfortable for some people, don’t forget that while others are speaking, you should not look away. This will also help the relationship of voice to face, position and name.
Some tips for eye contact during a professional presentation are to look at those present as much as possible, as well as to address in a general way unless the situation calls for it, to relax your gaze and to show your face and not the back of your neck (6).
State your expectations and goals
This point will depend on the responsibilities of your position to develop, especially if you are in charge of a team that works by objectives, keep in mind the following:
- Setting expectations and work goals will signal to your team your commitment to your work.
- Warn team members what you expect from them.
- But don’t forget to be humble and avoid aggressive or scolding language.
- After stating your expectations and goals, express that you are open to comments and suggestions.
Be prepared for questions
If the time of your presentation allows it, set aside a space for questions, either yours or your colleagues, about you and your way of working. Having a round of questions and answers from the beginning helps to clarify doubts and misunderstandings, in addition to creating open communication.
But it is also important to set limits. If you consider that some questions are too personal or invasive, you have the right not to answer them and, if necessary, report what happened to the corresponding people.
Establish the means of communication with the team
Today there are many ways to communicate with your co-workers, some provided by your employer.
Why is the first meeting with your work team important?
We have already covered the important points for your first meeting, however, here we will explain why this event is important.
Facilitates the transition process
Imagine that one day you are told that a new member will join your usual work team, they tell you their name, but you don’t know what they look like, how old they are, what their tone of voice is like, how they work, etc.
Whether this new member replaces another, or is just an addition, a new person can alter the dynamics of a team. However, a formal introduction will prevent the change process from being lengthy and even uncomfortable for both parties.
Show your commitment and enthusiasm
Taking the initiative to introduce yourself to your new team shows commitment and enthusiasm to the other team members. It also reflects your desire to fit in.
Studies highlight that people’s motivation and positive attitudes towards their work promote a better quality of long-lasting work life (7).
Build positive relationships
As mentioned earlier, presenting yourself properly eases the transition of change, but not only that, you are more likely to develop positive personal relationships with others.
For example, empathy is the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, which is crucial because it fosters a willingness to give, share, and cooperate willingly with the rest of the team (8).
2 things to consider before your first presentation
Earlier, we talked about the importance of body language and nonverbal expression, as well as the importance of eye contact, but these can be affected by what medium the presentation will take place: face-to-face, distance or written. Here are some recommendations.
Will it be a face-to-face or distance presentation?
Nowadays many companies are moving to digital or combining it with face-to-face. So it may be the case that your first meeting will be in a face-to-face or remote conference. This factor can strongly influence your presentation, so do not forget the following:
- The presentation is direct
- You will be able to greet your colleagues more comfortably
- The right atmosphere invites a more fluid conversation
- Facilitates the presence of nerves on either side
- Body language and non-verbal expression are more evident
At a distance:
- Ideal for people who get nervous easily
- Body language and non-verbal expression will be limited to the top
- A technical problem may occur
- A conversation may be limited
- Some members may feel less personal connection
Face-to-face or written presentation?
While the above two forms can be viewed as a face-to-face form of presentation, there is a third form that may not be as common, but it is important that you are prepared in case it is necessary.
There may be an occasion when you will need to introduce yourself in a written form, usually through an email or in a coworking application. And, like the previous ones, this also has its advantages and disadvantages:
- Goes immediately to the point
- Can be corrected as many times as necessary
- May be more comfortable for nervous people
- Lacks emotion and tone
- Can be seen as impersonal
- It is more difficult to create personal connections
First impressions are very important in determining or influencing the dynamic you will have with your new team. Including a new element to an already established way of working can create discomfort or difficulty from the start. Therefore, if you take the initiative to get to know the team, and they get to know you, you will be on the other side.
Showing willingness and politeness is essential, no matter what area you’re in. While it’s fine to plan things in advance, it’s also not ideal to believe that if your presentation fails, the rest will fail. Prepare what you can prepare, hope and work for the best.
1. Alles MA. The role of the boss [Internet]. Google Books. Ediciones Granica S.A.; 2008 [cited 2022 Sep 7]. Available from: https://books.google.com.mx/books?hl=es&lr=&id=9-vBT14zTZMC&oi=fnd&pg=PA11&dq=jefe+vs+employee&ots=bw_Uw97OPN&sig=Sarj3InhpzOApHF-sGlfwTX0Lrg#v=onepage&q&f=false Source
2. Lisbona A, Frese M. Personal initiative [Internet]. Google Books. Ediciones Pirámide; 2014 [cited 2022 Sep 7]. Available from: https://books.google.com.mx/books?hl=es&lr=&id=GMWUBQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=iniciativa+personal&ots=3XqSByioPJ&sig=a4SROe9Xt12ycEbaCqWPuxmSCSk#v=onepage&q=initiativa%20personal&f=false Source
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6. Olvera Lopez A, Fortoul Van Der Goes T, Mendiola S. Medical Education Welcome to Presenta! Eye contact. November-December [Internet]. 2018;61. Available from: http:
7. Marsollier RG. Work Engagement in the University Context. A Positive Occupational Health Psychology Approach. Argentine Journal of Behavioral Sciences [Internet]. 2015 Aug 1 [cited 2022 Sep 7];7(2). Available from: http:
8. Bustamante M, Llorens Gumbau S, Acosta Antognoni H. Empathy and service quality: The key role of positive emotions in work teams. repositoriujies [Internet]. 2014 Jul 1 [cited 2022 Sep 7]; Available from: http: