What to Do When You’re New

What to Do When You’re New: How to be Comfortable, Confident, and Successful in New Situations

Your highlights:

As a newcomer, the first skill to master is to properly and successfully introduce yourself.

have you ever gotten angry at somebody for disturbing you in order to introduce themselves? No!

31 March, 2016 18:59 Share

At an appropriate time, offer a greeting. Give your name, say who you are and why you’re introducing yourself. It’s often wise to ask if now is a fine time to introduce yourself, thus ensuring that you’re not disturbing something important. Then you could say, for example, that you’re the new marketing assistant and you sit in the opposite room, so you’ll probably be running into each other often.

31 March, 2016 19:00 Share

Remember to be brief, respectful and acknowledge the prospective relationship by saying why you should know each other.

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Later, you can follow up your introduction with a chat, which will establish the basis of your relationship.

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The goal here is to learn about each other, find out what you have in common and how you can connect in the future. If you get stuck and are unsure how to navigate the conversation, ask questions about the other person. This is effective as it shows respect and interest.

31 March, 2016 19:00 Share

It’s also a good idea to write down what you have learned about the other person. You may think you’ll remember all the details, but it’s far too easy to mix up people’s names, roles or backgrounds. By writing down everything as soon as you can after the conversation, you’ll be in a far better position to avoid awkwardness and anxiety in the future.

31 March, 2016 19:00 Share

Get comfortable faster by overcoming your fear of asking questions.

Bundles of questions create confusion and only one part tends to get answered in the end.

31 March, 2016 19:03 Share

Learn how to rid yourself of the anxiety of performing in front of strangers.

The fact is, however, that other people are generally far more preoccupied with their own performances or thoughts than with what you’re doing!

31 March, 2016 19:06 Share

Final summary

Being anxious in new situations is natural. In order to overcome fear of the unfamiliar, you must change your mindset, put yourself into other people’s shoes and practice some simple techniques for introducing yourself. Ask questions and remember names. And don’t forget: we all make mistakes at first.

31 March, 2016 19:06 Share

To build healthy relationships, employ what scientist call reciprocal altruism. Reciprocal altruism is when other people help us and it sparks an instinctive urge to help them in return. You can use this to your advantage by giving energy to others through listening to and appreciating them. When you do this, they’ll be inclined to pay you back by being ready to listen you, appreciate y

31 March, 2016 19:07 Share

you or help you out.

31 March, 2016 19:07 Share

About the book:

What to Do When You’re New (2015) is the result of Rollag’s 20 years of research on why people become anxious and stressed in new situations. It provides strategies for changing your outlook on new situations and offers techniques for handling such situations with comfort and confidence.

About the author:

Keith Rollag is an Associate Professor at Babson College. He specializes in organizational behavior and newcomer socialization and training. His work has appeared in a number of publications, including Harvard Management Update, Stanford Social Innovation Review and Wired News.


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