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Understand your stakeholders and create a strong first impression
Questions you should ask in your new job or project
The purpose is to understand how your future collaborators think and how to best prepare for your new role.
I got the idea to write this article based on some questions from someone I am mentoring. Keep reading to access the Notion template to get you started.
Photo by Ralston Smith on Unsplash
Depending on how much time you have with the person, you can ask a few or all these questions. Some may be more appropriate for your direct team members.
For your first meeting, keep it short, light and conversational. It shouldn’t feel like an interrogation. Allow for some time for a good back and forth, and to answer any questions they might have for you.
Questions to ask people you’re interacting with for the first time
What do you work on?
What did you wish you knew when you first started?
What do people do that makes them successful in the organisation/project?
What should I read to get started?
How do you keep up to date internally?
What Slack channels should I join?
What email lists are important?
How do you like being kept in the loop?
What are some OKRs or KPIs I should be aware of?
Who else should I meet?
What keeps you up at night (about work)?
How would you like us to work together? (Or how do you work with others in the same role?
Other things to keep an eye out for and ask yourself
Group dynamics - who influences whom (this could be direct - manager to director, or something indirect like peers or friendly collaborators)?
Existing cultural norms - how do people communicate with each other - is it formal or more informal? Is it hierarchical?
Communication - does the team or organisation rely on meetings or written communication or a combination of both?
Home set up - are there particular times that work for them due to working from home? Are there kids and pets in the call? Should you give them a heads up about your pets and kids?
Take notes. If there’s anything you need to follow up with your stakeholders once you’re more settled put it on your to-do list or calendar.
It is a great way of establishing a good relationship and being proactive.
The person I’m mentoring created a Notion template to specifically help with this that also captured contact details. It’s a really good idea, so I’ve created a template for you to copy and customise for your needs.
The more organised you are, the easier it is to follow up on things and not have to ask people to repeat themselves. We’ve linked one you can use here but it’s up to you what you want to include or exclude.
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