Say Hi to the New Guy

I’ve often heard people say, “He’s not worth talking with, he’s new to their company—our ideas won’t get far with him.” I’ve found the opposite to be true. The person new at a company is the most likely to talk with you and promote your ideas.

When you’re new to a company, you want to prove that you’re valuable. Thus, you’re likely to promote any good idea that comes across your desk. Given, some people will just hunker down and do what they’re told instead of promoting new ideas, but these aren’t the decision makers. These aren’t the marketing managers, publishers, editors and vice presidents.

When I want help from another company where I don’t have a contact yet, I try to find the newest decision maker. Like me, they want new friends. And they’re willing to think outside the box, because that’s why they were hired.

The same is true in your own company. The new person on the team is the most likely to have crazy ideas, and to bring a new mindshare. I have a habit of taking the new person at the company out to lunch or to coffee. I genuinely want to get to know them, and let them know that I’m someone they can count on; I also want to hear their ideas, and help them promote the best ones.

Good hospitality works in business. Try it. If you’re friendly, people will often be friendly back.

I make it a habit to call everyone back, and reply to every email (excluding spam, of course). And if I don’t have time to handle something, I make sure someone on our team replies. I try to find a way to work with as many people as possible, from as many companies as possible. I’m still selective about how much time I spend on each relationship, but I’m also aware that every relationship may someday become valuable. And as my father used to say, “You never know when someone will be your boss.” Likewise, you never know when you will need something from that person you forgot to call back.

I had someone apply for a job once who had previously forgot to call me back about another matter (after I left several messages). This person also didn’t return my emails. I assume that when this person applied, they weren’t aware that I was on the other side of the computer reading their application. You never know who will be your boss, or the person who decides if you will get hired.

This is not only advice but a word of caution. Hospitality and courtesy goes a long way.

How do you incorporate hospitality into your work? How do you make it a habit to be kind and courteous?

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