“Hey there, Newbie!” were the first words out of his mouth as he shook my hand and welcomed me into the fold.

It wasn’t the first time I had heard the term “Newbie”.  With 15 transfers to different places in the Navy and countless additional temporary assignments, I’ve been the new guy more than most people I know.

Regardless of where I was stuck or what team I got put on, there were always three things I wanted to know:

1.  What needs to be done?  I wanted to know what the overall objective was that we were trying to accomplish.
2.  How do I fit in?  I wanted to know how what I did factored into the end result and how everyone else fit in as well.
3.  How do I know if I’m doing a good job?  I wanted to know the performance objectives that needed to be met.

Being the newbie can be unsettling.  We’ve all been there at some point in time.  More often than not, these questions don’t get answered and we’re left to our own devices in  figuring out how to not be the newbie (as quickly as possible) and become a valued part of the team.  The result in not figuring these questions out quick enough usually leaves us feeling like we’re on the outside of the team looking in with our morale and motivation waning.

What can we do to quickly acclimate newbies into the fold?

If you’re the newbie:  Ask the questions and work yourself into the fold.

If you’re not the newbie:  Answer the questions and work them into the fold.

Being the newbie was something I got used to but I never liked to be the newbie for long.  Most of us don’t.  We want to feel like we belong.  Sometimes we have to dig in ourselves and figure it out and, if we’re lucky, sometimes people let us know how we fit.

Either way, it only takes one person to help newbies into the fold and that person is you.  Be the one!

For more information on Chip, visit http://www.speakernow.com/espeakers/8431/Lieutenant-Commander-Chip-Lutz.html?topic=-1

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