Outsider to Insider at work: Turnaround Tips

Executive Coaching

Building Rapport in your New Job: Turnaround Tips

You’ve recently started a new job with a larger role.  The position sounded ideal because it promised growth and the opportunity to showcase your skills.   You were thinking of this as the next logical step in your career.

But it’s not turning out the way you had anticipated.

Your new co-workers are a tightly knit group and clicky.  Moving your agenda forward requires their cooperation and support.  Frustratingly, your initiatives are being stalled because you can’t get traction from the influencers on your team. The ideas you suggest are met with “that’s not the way it’s done here.”

Worse, you can’t seem to insert yourself into conversations or take part in inside jokes.

You wonder what the heck is happening?

And you are feeling like an outsider.

Take heart my friend; you are experiencing the transitional pains of fitting into a new culture.

Here are steps you can take immediately to pave the way for receiving more cooperation on your projects while building better relationships with your coworkers:

  • Don’t put the cart before the horse.  In the example above, the new employee hadn’t built the bridges or relationships with co-workers that would make them inclined to help.  First and foremost, you need to launch a sincere effort to build good will.

  • Starting Over — So how do you build rapport after coming on like gangbusters?  Begin with saying you’d like to start fresh by pushing the reset button.   Invite them to coffee/lunch and approach the conversation as a friend…what would you ask a new acquaintance to get to know them?  Questions about their family, interests, motivators, etc.?  Do not attempt to bring up business or your goals.  These first chats are about them.

  • It’s not all about you or your objectives.  Once you sense you’ve created the groundwork for a discussion with the influencers, ask them their opinion of your projects and how you might be of help to them?  Ensure that they are aware that this is a two-way street.   And you need to mean it.  Ultimately it may require more effort on your part to deliver on your promise to help them.  However, in the long run, it’s the only way to be successful when you need other people’s support.

  • Make it a habit.   Being hard driving and goal oriented is all well and good but you need to earn the loyalty and commitment of your team. That means becoming a leader that people trust and want to follow.  Working well with others requires understanding what motivates each person and helping them become successful.   Incorporate these leadership skills into your everyday approach and you’ll go from an outsider to an insider at work.  More importantly, you’ll have developed expertise that you can put to good use in every future position.


Need help in defining exactly what you can do in your new job to become successful?  That’s why people hire an executive coach.  Working with a coach you will receive support, accountability and a blueprint for action steps to become successful and comfortable in your new role.


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