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How to Avoid Impostor Syndrome as a New Team Lead

Impostor Syndrome is a term trending up on casual conversations and Google searches. That condition is when one feels as if they were wearing a mask – something that hides a lack of abilities or skills required for a job. Most of the time, however, the abilities and skills are there, and it is all about the anxiety around dealing with something new.

When it comes to joining a new team, department or job, it is almost impossible to not feel the symptoms above. Especially as a leader. The good news is: it is possible to mitigate those potential issues and be perceived as an amazing team lead in your first month. Here are two key tactics to get there.

1) Ask for feedback

If you feel you’re underperforming right at the start, even though you haven’t heard that from anyone, chances are you are not. Asking for feedback still seems socially awkward in many agile teams – but it shouldn’t. As a leader, you need frequent one on ones with your peers. Does that sound terrifying? Schedule the first one and see how it goes. Ensure the meeting is set up for success by following our tips here and include questions: not only about knowing the other and the project you are both in, but also getting their perspective on your first week/month. This is a great moment to either validate or destroy the “stories” (assumptions) your mind is telling you.

2) Be actionable

You can build trust and feel part of the team more quickly by taking action on challenges your team might be facing. If your developer is having issues with the lack of specs, you can step up and address those with the proper stakeholders, for instance. Or if someone says that the daily standups are unproductive, understand why and offer help to champion the next one using a different format. Whatever it is, you can help somehow. Offer help, address the issues, and report back.

Teamworki has tools for effective 1:1 meetings, action items, morale tracking, and more. And it is free. Sign up below and be perceived as the best leader your team ever had!