Contributing to your team as a new joiner

As a new joiner in a new team, it can feel like you are the least experienced person around the table, especially if you are new to the business or joining after university or leaving school. There is a lot of value to being a new joiner on a team, and your fresh perspective and thinking could be invaluable to your team. Understanding the contribution you could make could really help you make a strong impact and help you make a strong positive impression to your new team. Here are a few small ways you can do that:

Ask questions about items mentioned in meetings to express interest in a meeting. As a new joiner, you have a free pass to ask as many questions as you need to without being judged. No question is a silly question. Asking questions shows that you are interested in the topics being discussed. More importantly, the different view you bring to the table enables you to ask questions that raise issues and concerns that others would not have raised because they are too close to the subject. This perspective will be invaluable to the team.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

Share opinions on subjects being discussed. You may think that your perspective or opinion may not be helpful, but an outsider’s view will enable others to establish whether they are on the right track or not. Diverse views at the table help to create a more successful outcome, so remember that your view is just as important as the others. To help facilitate sharing a well informed view, ask questions and take time to understand what is being discussed. If the subject matter is confusing, we can tempted into thinking that it is a reflection of our lack of knowledge, but it can also be a reflection of the subject needing a little bit if work to help others understand it better. If you don’t understand it, your customer is less likely to understand it. As long as your opinion is shared with good intentions, it can influencing positive outcomes for the team.

Complement others on their great work to encourage them. You may think that your view on other’s work may be irrelevant, but everyone needs encouragement no matter what level of expertise they have. Complementing others on their work is a great opportunity to invest in other people and show respect for their expertise. Ensure it is a meaningful and well informed complement, and not a shallow one. For example, instead of saying “Great work John”, you could say “John, that was a well structured presentation. I never considered the impact of inclusion and equity in the context you presented it, but your slide on systemic racism gave me food for thought so thank you”.

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