Feeling like you fit in at work can often present some challenging issues. And they can arise at any time—whether you’re just starting at a new place, have been moved to a new team, or recently received a promotion. While each one of those provides rich opportunities, each one can also challenge your sense of belonging.
*** When you start out at a new company, you’re suddenly thrust into an already existing culture. Often you’ll be working with people who’ve become friends, attended the same offsites, weddings, and holiday parties. They may welcome you as new talent, even be grateful they’ll have access to your expertise. But they may be reserved if not quite reserved about making you feel truly welcome.
*** When you’re moved to a new team, even though it’s within the company where you’ve already spent quite some time establishing your expertise, your new team members may not know you at all. In fact, they may feel threatened by your arrival.
*** And that promotion you’ve been looking forward to, working your way towards for perhaps several years, well…….how do your former peers respond? How do you respond to them?
Whether you’re the person who is the recipient of one or more of these changes, or you are firmly entrenched and now need to integrate a new person or a person with a new title/role, here are essential tips to help establish fitting in:
=== No Need To Be Speedy
Take your time in reading the new environment. Adding just one person to an existing team changes the dynamics immediately. If you are that new person, make sure not to rush in glad-handing and immediately setting up lunches. Don’t become “speedy dude” or “speedy gal” rushing into every opportunity to show how smart, friendly, or organized you are. Take your time, your respectful time, to learn how the members of your team are responding to you and how they are used to working. Only then can you integrate yourself and your ways of working in a manner that is consistent with the very real people you are working with.
=== Be Curious
Curiosity is one of the best assets you possess in gaining strong EQ – Emotional Quotient – or, in other words, your relationship IQ. Curiosity about others indicates interest and protects against taking for granted who you assume they are. The power of curiosity increases with your level of sincerity and your ability to be wide open to discovery.
=== Gaining Permission
If you are at all concerned about asking personal questions or putting forth professional opinions at the outset of a new relationship, you can always ask permission. “Is it okay if I ask you about your personal/professional background?” “Would it feel okay if I put forth a new idea for this project even though I’m pretty new to the team?” Gaining buy-in from others is a sure fire way to be seen as respectful and considerate.
And now, what are your ideas about fitting in at work?
Judith Sherven, PhD and her husband Jim Sniechowski, PhD http://JudithandJim.com have developed a penetrating perspective on people’s resistance to success, which they call The Fear of Being Fabuloustm. Recognizing the power of unconscious programming to always outweigh conscious desires, they assert that no one is ever failing—they are always succeeding. The question is, at what? To learn about how this played out in the life of Whitney Houston for example, and how it may be playing out in your own life, check out their 6th book:
For a great read, get ready for my husband Jim’s Leaving Home Trilogy – a three-part series based on Jim’s real life growing up in 1950s factory-working Polish Detroit…and it’s also partly fiction! About to be released soon, with a free offer for the 2nd book – “An Ambition To Belong” learn more by signing up at: