Think to the last time you joined a new club, team, or organization. What was the reason you committed?
While the coaches, leaders, and program itself all play an important role, I’m willing to bet your interaction with the current members had a huge impact on your decision.
For a guy who barely weighed 100 lbs in high school, joining the full contact, no pads game of rugby seems to be the opposite of most people’s natural reaction. Yet, for some reason I committed to it.
Part of my commitment lied in proving some people wrong, but the larger part came from my interaction with the current team members during my very first practice.
I remember walking onto the practice field that evening by myself, holding my first pair of cleats. As I nervously walked closer to the rest of the team, a senior member of the team, Matt, immediately approached me, asked my name, shook my hand, and started teaching me the basics of the game. Following his lead, other team members introduced themselves to me and sparked up conversation.
I knew I was committed to this team that very day.
The amount of time between a new person arriving and a current member embracing them plays a huge role in whether that person will stay or not.
This rule also held true in my search for a crossfit gym.
The difference between the first three gyms that I didn’t commit to and the one I finally did was the time in which it took current members to introduce themselves to me.
My first day in the first three gyms involved a lot of standing around alone trying to not be awkward. Compare this to being warmly approached by several members of Crossfit FullBore, in New Orleans, within minutes of stepping in.
I signed my membership contract with Fullbore that same day.
As a newcomer, you shouldn’t have to approach people and initiate contact, that’s the role of the current members!
So, my message to you today is this:
Be a leader and take the initiative.
If you are the current member of a team or organization, make it a point to approach the new people as soon as you notice them. Pause your current conversation, walk over, shake their hand, and talk to them.
This will have 2 results:
- The other members will follow your lead and also introduce themselves.
- The person feels comfortable and is much more likely to stay.
Congratulations, you just got a new member.