7 Questions to Discuss When You Integrate New Team Members
Hire someone who doesn’t fit.
A team of round-edges needs a few square-pegs to shake things up. But fasten your seatbelts when you integrate new team members.
Hire someone who doesn’t fit if you want to expand team capability. A team of smooth-edged dreamers needs some sharp-edged doers. Apart from doers, dreamers begin too much and finish too little.
Don’t lose the value of square-peg-people by shaving off their edges.
Before you integrate new team members:
Get clear on the behaviors and beliefs that make your team work now. Identify nonnegotiable team operating principles.
- No interrupting.
- Begin on time and end early.
- Candor with kindness.
- Constructive dissent. Disagree in search of a better way, not to be adversarial.
- Eagerness to help. We’re in it for each other and for ourselves.
- Value relationship, results, transparency, and laughter.
- Public commitments. Clear accountability and follow-through.
Questions to discuss before you integrate new team members:
- What do we do well right now?
- How did we get good at that?
- What would we like to be better at?
- What do we like about our team dynamics?
- What would make team dynamics even better?
When you integrate new team members declare non-negotiables in behavioral terms.
Questions to discuss with potential new team members:
- Could you describe the best team you were ever on?
- How might others describe the way you interact in team meetings?
- What beliefs and behaviors are essential to effective teamwork?
- What do you enjoy about teams? What’s challenging?
- What would your former teammates say you added to the team?
- What do you hope this team adds to you?
- What do you hope to add to this team?
Take charge of the process when you integrate new team members. If you’re on a great team someone worked to build it.
What are your biggest concerns when you integrate new team members?
How might leaders protect team culture and become a better team after integrating new members?
Added resource: Successfully Integrate New Members into Your Team
Dan, this is a most valuable post!
David, I appreciate the good word. Steady on!
My favorite phrase:
“Constructive dissent. Disagree in search of a better way, not to be adversarial.” Terrific wisdom!! Thanks!
2. Begin on time and *end early*.
This had always been my mantra…until I noticed that the best connection happened when the meeting went into OT or, more likely, after the meeting was officially over…especially with those who were reluctant to participate.
How do I balance punctuality with opportunity?
Rob – I have had the same experience – we have a strong desire to at least say, “ok, looks like we are done for today” and do this before the scheduled end time – then if it works…people would just hang around and possibly continue talking about our meeting topics or bring up other items on their mind in an informal gathering which seems to be a better environment for some people to offer up their thoughts – we have had good discussions at these “after-meetings”.