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Why thinkbridge is a great place to work?
8 min read

5 Tips On How To Acclimatize To Your New Teammates

Have you joined a team and you're not sure how to approach your new teammates? Have no fear! Here are ways to build these new friendships.
Written by
Akshita Kohli
Published on
April 12, 2024

Meeting new teammates can be a little daunting. This is especially true for those who belong to the introvert squad, just as I myself do. However, having said that, we just can't deny the gospel truth that first impressions are indeed very crucial, especially in the professional realm.

Lynn Taylor, a renowned national workplace expert and also the author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant : How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job" rightly says that "how you conduct yourself in the first few minutes – or even seconds — of meeting someone can have a profound impact, and when it's your first day at work, you're being evaluated with a microscope."

But nevertheless, in the past few years, the scientific and technological advances coupled with the catastrophic COVID- 19 pandemic revolutionized the analog and conventional work dynamics that individuals were primarily used to. This was somewhat a temporary savior for the introverts. However, now it has become a lot more difficult, especially for those recluse professionals, to suddenly befriend all of their teammates in one go.

Well, there's no denying the fact that “man is by nature a social animal", as was said by Aristotle, the legendary Greek philosopher. Our social species thus relies on mutual cooperation to survive and thrive. And this is very much inclusive of our workplace, where we can't just afford to remain aloof.

So is there something that we introverts could do to come out of our shell and become friendly and comfortable with our fellow teammates? There is always an easy solution to every problem. And this problem, that does seem elephantine, doesn't in reality involve a herculean effort. I say so with my own personal experience that I have shared below. But nevertheless, for the other introverts, here I'll endeavor to address the elephant in the room.

5 Tips on How to Acclimatize with Your Teammates at a New Workspace

1. Put On a Big, Warm Smile

One may have the best sartorial choice at his workplace, but that alone wouldn't turn out well if, in case, you are defensive in your conduct and are not approachable. Experts rightly opine that we usually size up new individuals in somewhere between 30 seconds to two minutes. And therefore, while our dressing does matter to an extent, but "nothing you wear is more important than your smile,” as was said by Connie Stevens.

A genuine smile alone helps you etch half a mile of your voyage to befriending new folks as it is a symbol of friendship and peace. And so it is in our hands, as the aura that we give lets our peers know whether we are open to socializing or if we are a lone wolf. However, we must ensure that we do not overdo our smile and it should be sincere, and also at the right time.

2. Take a Step Forward & Introduce Yourself

A warm smile alone is not sufficient if you do not break the ice. And the best way to do so is to initiate a little social interaction with as many as you can, especially on the first day of your actual office work.

Also, while most of us may have previously interacted and known the same teammates through the regular virtual meets, it is still essential to introduce yourself to your colleagues when you meet them in person. You must ensure that you're not just entering the office premises and directly commencing with your daily tasks. This sends the wrong message, and portrays you in the wrong light. So to avoid this, you must at least invest some time in introducing yourself to your immediate colleagues, if not all. Introduce yourself with a handshake and a warm smile.

Just don't be shy, and once you start conversing, you'll soon lose all of your inhibitions. If your teammate is occupied with some work, then make sure that you do not invade their space, disturbing them as an unsolicited intrusion. It may be wise to introduce yourself a later.

3. Commence with Work-Related Talks & Slowly Spark Informal Talks

If you are extremely introvert, and have your guard up, and if you feel that it is a nerve-racking ordeal to straight-up befriend your colleagues, then just directly dive into work-related conversations. You may start talking about the project that you're working on, and seek your teammates opinion. You can also be a little inquisitive and ask what your teammates are up to. And voila! once the conversation gets going, other interesting conversations shall naturally occur, and all you need to do is be a good listener, and of course, a little inquisitive. Make sure you find a common interest, be it a sport, poetry, hobby, literary work or any other thing for that matter. And then there's no looking back as you'll soon be engrossed in a riveting conversation with your fellow teammate.

And well here's a pro tip - people usually love to talk about themselves. So be a little interested in them and ask open-ended questions in order to get the conversation flowing.

However, make sure that you steer clear of volatile discussions on matters concerning politics and religion. After all you wouldn't want to lock horns or ruffle their feathers, turning your workspace into a turbulent battle ground.

4. Appreciate Your Teammates

One secret key to vanquishing those first meeting jitters is to simply appreciate your teammates. Appreciation makes us all happy, and it makes us feel valued. Furthermore, it not just increases our work productivity, but is the best way to befriend new teammates.

So from now on, when you meet your teammates in person, make sure to voice your appreciation and thank them for all their contribution and team efforts. This may seem small at first, but rest assured, this is one ultimate secret key to instantly breaking the ice with your colleagues. Such appreciation therefore goes a long way. It creates a great camaraderie and fosters positivity within the organisation.

5. Make Sure to Be Yourself

Introverts may feel like a fish out of water, especially if they're in a place full of new people. And what worse than the situation being that of a first meet at workplace? Also, no matter how much you plan in advance, it can all tumble down. And you may fall flat on your face, especially if you try to be a people pleaser and decide on re-integrating your innate personality in an all-new social setting. This may also actually do more harm than good as you cannot always have a veil on. So the best thing to do in such a situation is to just be yourself and let people acknowledge and appreciate you for your work, if not for your flamboyant and gregarious personality.

  • from a think'ers perspective

Well, I am myself an introvert, and perhaps a little recluse by nature. So for me, the very thought of travelling and meeting my teammates in-person was a little intimidating. And I say so by trying to gloss over the reality that indeed gave me butterflies in my stomach with sweaty palms. I was travelling out after about a decade to meet my teammates from across India and US. But as they say, destiny had something good in store for me. And well I honestly had a one-of-its-kind trip as compared to all my previous family trips.

While I initially did greet my teammates, but I was still feeling a little out of place, especially because people around were quite gregarious and cheerful, and were cracking jokes but I wasn't finding anything hilarious.

I was also exhausted as I had not slept and had straight travelled to work, but was somehow attentive and had all my ears in the meetings. And so I was trying to be my professional best. However, it was in the afternoon when I was extremely famished and had no idea about any place around, and that's exactly when I saw a bunch of my teammates go for lunch. I, too, jumped in to join them because hunger, for me, breaks down all barriers. And what next, I walked down a long road chatting with some of my colleagues such as Chaitali, Basant, Suresh, and few others who are all great friends of mine now. We had a sumptuous meal, and we discussed coding, our hobbies, educational backgrounds, and what not. And because I was new to the city, and didn't know the vernacular or the places around, two of my colleagues-turned-friends, Chaitali and Suresh, helped me reach home.

Also, I had a brief tete-à-tete with Priyanka and I asked her about the local specialities of the city. And well she was kind enough to get me a box full of Bakarwadi and Chidwa from some local Maharashtrian snacks. I really relished those. However, I particularly felt a major cultural difference between Pune and Delhi, that is my native city, but I was with an eclectic cohort of teammates and truth be told, I also felt bad while I was leaving. And I really wanted to stay for a few more days. I especially felt so when Chaitali told me about the annual office party, and how everybody had a lot of fun. Also, a group of my colleagues visited the magnificent Aga Khan Palace, that I too was desirous to see, but well I did get to see some great pictures taken by my friends.

And so work wasn't just work but it was rather fun at thinkbridge, and I was able to naturally let down my guards. I made a handful of friends in just two days of my work visit, and I fondly cherish all of those memories.

I am glad that I was able to connect with some like-minded and wonderful people at thinkbridge, who are now not just teammates but are great friends. I have several little anecdotes to share from my own personal experience. But one thing that I would like to mention is that I was able to shed all my inhibitions with my squad of friends at thinkbridge. And this also includes Prateek, a Delivery Unit Lead, who has always generously praised my writing skills. We together worked joyfully on some website content and all in all, I had a wonderful experience at thinkbridge, that I shall not exactly be able to encapsulate in words as the same won't do justice.

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