Do you ever feel awkward in new situations? Success inevitably requires exposure to new settings—new jobs and transfers, new client meetings, and new peers. Yet Keith Rollag, Associate Professor of leadership and organizational behavior at Babson College, and author of the forthcoming book, What to Do When You’re New, contends that many professionals do less than their best because they haven’t mastered three basic yet essential skills: introducing themselves, remembering people’s names, and asking questions.
“Through interviews, surveys, and studies with hundreds of people, I’ve found that the anxiety most of us feel in new situations is rooted in these three activities,” writes Rollag in The Harvard Business Review. Rollag offers a variety of tips to improve these skills. Among our favorites:
Getting comfortable in new situations involves a degree of risk tolerance and also overcoming old habits. The more consciously we practice these skills, the more likely we will become comfortable, confident, communicative newcomers.
We want to hear. What skills have you successfully employed to put yourself and others at ease in new situations? To join the conversation, click "comments" on our Community of Practice Forum.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion.