How a Team Deals with a New Boss

Ideas that help a new boss to build strong relationship with a team...

Ruth brings the team members together and they have a weekly meeting. Ron’s questionnaire is a matter of their debate. Ron joins the meeting and makes a decision…

Story 3: Ruth looked at her watch - it was 9:00 am. It was high time for the regular meeting. She loved the practice of bringing all team members together for a meeting on a regular basis. “Guys, let’s discuss Ron’s idea in the meeting”, she said clearly. “Emily, could you make us coffee, please?"
Ten minutes later Emily, Peter, Sam, and Ruth were sitting is a small conference room.  
“I am not sure whether a questionnaire could help Ron to learn something about me,” Emily said. She looked at Peter as if she were trying to find his support. But Peter was very busy writing a text message. “Peter, stop playing with your cell phone, please. I guess you can say something. What is your opinion?” she said impatiently. Peter smiled and said: “Ironically, I have a dilemma – to please Ron or arouse his anger. What should I choose?” Ruth wished John – her boss – were there but he was still on holiday. Each time when he was away, she had to deal with a complicated situation. Suddenly Sam interrupted her thoughts: “I love Ron’s idea. Let’s answer the questions and give him an idea how good we are.” 
Ruth was thinking how she could frame the discussion neutrally when suddenly she heard Emily’s impulsive voice: “I don’t want to draw a wonderful picture of myself. I think Ron should build a trustful relationship and invite me to a face-to-face meeting.” Ruth realized it was time to put forward a suggestion: “Please stop! I think we have a choice now. We can invite Ron and ask him questions or accept Ron’s idea. Every cloud has a silver lining. I would rather invite Ron. And you?” The team members looked at her with approval.

Fortunately, Ron had time and could join the meeting some minutes later. He listened to the team members’ opinions and thought: “On the one hand, face-to-face meetings are very costly from a simple cost perspective. On the other hand, face-to-face meetings provide human contact and interaction. What should I do?” 

Ruth looked at her watch again. It was 9:45 am and the team had no decision yet. “Guys, you’ve provided me with some food for thought. I test fast, fail fast, and adjust fast,” Ron said. “I am deeply grateful to each and every one of you and I’d like to invite you to a face-to-face meeting.” Ruth looked at him with empathy: “I love Tom Peters quotes too: The magic formula that successful businesses have discovered is to treat customers like guests and employees like people. Ron, thank you. Welcome to the team! I guess our meeting is over.”

Emily, Peter, and Sam left the conference room. Ruth and Ron stayed a bit longer there. “They say that mutual understanding will result in a more productive and positive working relationship,” Ruth said. Ron gave her a big smile. He knew she was right.

Why does Ron come to that decision? Would your decision have been different?

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