Running Your First Meeting as a New Manager (With Examples)

As a new manager, preparing for your first meeting with your staff is crucial. Proper preparation helps set the tone and direction for your professional relationship with your team. Here are a few steps to help you prepare effectively:

1. Understand the Team’s Background

Before holding your first meeting, take some time to learn about your team members. Get to know their roles, responsibilities, and strengths. This information will help you identify areas in which you can offer support or guidance. You can gather this information by reviewing employee files, organizational charts, or by having one-on-one conversations with team members.

2. Set Clear Objectives

Determine the specific goals you want to achieve during the meeting. This may involve sharing your vision for the team, clarifying expectations, or discussing potential challenges and opportunities. Make a list of the objectives and prioritize them, so you can cover the most important topics first.

3. Prepare an Agenda

Organizing the content of your meeting by creating an agenda helps ensure that everything is covered in a timely manner. Your agenda should include:

  • Introductions: As you are new to the team, start by introducing yourself and welcoming everyone to the meeting. Encourage team members to introduce themselves as well.
  • Expectations: Clearly communicate your expectations and priorities. Discuss short-term and long-term goals for the team.
  • Open Discussion: Allocate time for open discussion where team members can ask questions, voice concerns, or share ideas. This creates a culture of collaboration and open communication.
  • Next Steps: Briefly outline the next steps and any follow-up items that need to be addressed.

4. Choose an Appropriate Venue and Time

Find a suitable location where you can hold the meeting without any distractions or interruptions. Pick a time that works best for most team members, and consider their schedules and availability.

5. Send Out Invitations

Once you have a plan in place, send out invitations with the date, time, and location of the meeting. Include the agenda in your invitation, so team members know what to expect and can come prepared with any relevant information or materials.

Setting the Agenda

Identifying Key Topics

Before diving into the meeting, you should identify the key topics you want to discuss with your staff. This preparation will help you structure the conversation and ensure you cover everything important. Start by making a list of discussion points that need to be addressed. You can gather these from various sources such as emails, performance reports, or even concerns from your team members.

Once you have a list, prioritize the topics according to their importance and urgency. This way, you’ll know which issues to tackle first and which can be left for later. By organizing your list, you’ll also be better positioned to manage the meeting, facilitating smooth discussions that allow everyone’s input.

Allocating Time Slots

After identifying and prioritizing the key topics, you should allocate time slots for each discussion point. Be realistic with your estimations as you want your team to have enough time for a comprehensive conversation. Keep in mind that meetings can sometimes run longer than anticipated, so it’s helpful to have buffer time between topics or be prepared to extend or reschedule the meeting if necessary.

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For example, if you have three priority topics, you can allocate 15 minutes for each. Perhaps you estimate that the first topic might spark a longer discussion, so you can give it 20 minutes and adjust the other topics accordingly.

Here’s a sample time allocation:

  1. Introduction and setting the stage (5 minutes)
  2. Priority topic 1 (20 minutes)
  3. Priority topic 2 (15 minutes)
  4. Priority topic 3 (15 minutes)
  5. Wrap-up and next steps (5 minutes)

By allocating time slots, you help keep the meeting on track, ensuring that you cover all the topics you’ve identified. Setting time limits encourages focused discussions and helps you make the most of your team’s valuable time.

First Meeting as a New Manager: Example Email to a New Team

Sample email:

Subject: Welcome & Our First Team Meeting

Hello Team,

I hope this email finds you well. My name is [Your Name], and I’m excited to join [Company] as your new manager. I’m looking forward to meeting all of you and learning about your unique skills, experiences, and accomplishments.

To kick things off, I scheduled our first team meeting on [Date] at [Time] to discuss our goals, expectations, and how we can work together effectively. I strongly believe in open communication, so please come prepared to share your thoughts and ideas.

In this meeting, we’ll cover:

1. [Topic 1 description]
2. [Topic 2 description]
3. [Topic 3 description]

Please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to add to the agenda. I’m excited to start this journey with all of you, and I’m confident that we can achieve great things together.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Kicking Off the Meeting

Personal Introduction

Introduce yourself to your team in a friendly and genuine manner. Share a brief background about your professional experience and perhaps a personal tidbit or two to establish common ground. For example, you might mention your passion for cooking or how you love going on hiking adventures.

An example of what to say in a first meeting as a new manager:

“Hi everyone, I’m excited to join the team as your new manager. I’ve heard great things about each one of you and what you’ve accomplished, and I can’t wait to work alongside you to reach our goals. A little about me: I’ve spent the past few years working in [industry] and have a background in [area of expertise]. I’m a strong believer in open communication, collaboration, and fostering a supportive work environment. I’d love to hear a bit more about your roles, challenges, and successes to better understand how I can support you. Let’s have an open discussion about our expectations and explore how we can work together effectively.”


Outlining Objectives

If applicable, clearly outline the meeting’s objectives, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. You may want to create a simple bullet-point list or a quick presentation slide for visual reference. For example:

  • Discuss and finalize the project timeline
  • Assign tasks and review individual responsibilities
  • Address any questions or concerns regarding the project

Facilitating Open Discussion

Encouraging Participation

As a new manager, it’s important to create an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. Here are some strategies to encourage participation in your first meeting with your staff:

  • Begin by creating a safe space for people to express their opinions without fear of judgment or criticism. Encourage your team members to contribute their ideas and listen actively to what others are saying.
  • Make sure to ask open-ended questions that invite a broader range of responses. This will ensure that more team members feel compelled to participate in the discussion.
  • Keep an eye on the clock, and ensure that everyone gets a chance to speak during the meeting. You may need to gently guide the conversation to ensure that quieter team members have an opportunity to voice their opinions.
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Managing Different Opinions

In any group discussion, there will be varying perspectives and opinions. The key to effectively managing these differences is to approach them with a sense of curiosity and respect for other viewpoints. Here are some ways to handle disagreements and promote a healthy exchange of ideas:

  • Foster a culture of respectful disagreement by encouraging team members to see differences of opinion as learning opportunities rather than personal attacks. Remind everyone that healthy debate is crucial for creativity and innovation.
  • Use active listening techniques to ensure that you understand each team member’s viewpoint before responding. This will demonstrate that you value their input and allow you to address any concerns they may have.
  • Stay focused on common goals during the discussion, rather than dwelling on differences. By directing the conversation back to the team’s shared objectives, you’ll maintain a productive and collaborative atmosphere.

Closing the Meeting

Summarizing Key Points

Before you end the meeting, take a moment to summarize the key points discussed and decisions made. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and has a clear understanding of the meeting objectives. You can do this by briefly reiterating the main topics and decisions, such as:

  • We agreed to implement a new sales strategy by next month
  • Marketing will collaborate with the design team to create new promotional materials
  • Our next team-building activity will be a volunteer event at a local charity

Establishing Next Steps

After summarizing the key points, work together with your staff to establish the next steps and assign any necessary tasks or responsibilities. You might consider using a bullet-point list to outline the action items, like this:

  • John: Create a timeline for the sales strategy implementation
  • Susan: Schedule a meeting between marketing and design teams
  • Alice: Contact the charity organization and coordinate team event details

Having clear next steps and assigned responsibilities helps ensure that the goals set during the meeting will be accomplished in a timely manner. Make sure to follow up with your team members after the meeting to provide support, address any concerns, or answer any questions they may have. This will contribute to a positive and productive work environment as you begin your journey as a new manager.

Following Up After the Meeting

Sending Meeting Minutes

After your meeting as a new manager, you can send out meeting minutes to all staff members who attended. Meeting minutes provide a written summary of the topics discussed, decisions made, and action items assigned during the session. List down key points, tasks assigned to specific team members, deadlines, and relevant details discussed.

To make it more readable, you can use bullet points to enumerate the important aspects and italicize specific terms or phrases requiring emphasis. A brief and organized format ensures everyone stays on the same page moving forward.

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Here’s an example of a simple minutes format:

  • Agenda Item: New Project Kick-off
    • Project goals and objectives
    • Roles and responsibilities
    • Deadlines and milestones
  • Action Items:
    • Jane: Prepare project roadmap by next Tuesday
    • John: Coordinate with Marketing to align strategies

Individual Follow-Ups

After sending the meeting minutes, your next step should be conducting individual follow-ups with the staff members. This demonstrates your commitment to support and help them achieve their goals.

Set up one-on-one meetings or informal chats to discuss any concerns, clarify doubts, or provide more information on specific tasks assigned during the meeting. Open communication also allows you to gain valuable feedback from your team members, which can help you better understand their needs and perspectives.

For example, you may have a conversation with John and Jane about their respective tasks. In these discussions, be empathetic and listen actively, ensuring they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns. Also, be open to any suggestions or ideas they may have to improve the project’s progress. In doing so, you build a solid foundation of trust and collaboration with your team, setting a positive tone for your leadership role.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some key points to cover during my introductory speech to my new staff?

During your introductory speech, make sure to address these key points:

  • Express gratitude for the opportunity to manage the team
  • Share your background and relevant experiences
  • Communicate your management style and values
  • Describe your vision and expectations for the team
  • Let them know that you are open to feedback and encourage open communication

How can I effectively set the agenda for my first meeting with my new team?

To set an effective agenda, follow these steps:

  1. Start by defining your meeting objectives
  2. List down the key discussion topics related to your objectives
  3. Assign specific time slots to each topic and be mindful not to overload the agenda
  4. Include a brief description for each topic to provide context
  5. Provide space for team members to express their thoughts and concerns
  6. Share the agenda in advance, allowing sufficient time for the team to prepare

What’s a good way to introduce myself as a manager to a new team?

When introducing yourself to a new team, consider these tips:

  • Be genuine and approachable
  • Share your professional background and expertise
  • Highlight your management philosophy and values
  • Express enthusiasm about working with them
  • Encourage two-way communication, letting them know you’re open to feedback and ideas

In our initial one-on-one meeting, how should I engage with a new employee?

During a one-on-one meeting with a new employee:

  1. Get to know their background, experiences, and current role
  2. Understand their expectations, challenges, and aspirations
  3. Offer support and guidance for their growth and development
  4. Discuss your management style and values, setting clear expectations
  5. Encourage open communication and feedback
  6. Schedule regular check-ins to maintain a healthy working relationship


Posted in: Leadership, Meetings