My family recently went on a road trip up north. It was a great time to connect with extended family and make some fun memories. While visiting my wife’s family we ran into a number of people she had not seen in a while.
My wife comes from a small town where everyone seems to know each other. One of her friends noted that they always forget to introduce new people in their circles of conversation because they do not have a lot of new people. The thought that came out was interesting – “we forget to acknowledge new people because we just assume everyone knows you when you enter our circle.”
That experience is extremely different from my own growing up in a suburb of Atlanta – we constantly had new people moving to town. I grew up with a constant habit of introducing myself to others and introducing people to each other.
The experience prompted a question in me: Do I have a growth mentality? Do I assume there will be new people?
In the small town they did not have a lot of new people, therefore they tended to overlook simple things like introducing themselves when a new person actually shows up. They are not closed off or exclusive, they just tend to forget to acknowledge new people among them.
That simple omission can make a huge difference when someone new is trying to connect. Now I didn’t care in that moment, I am fine to be the new guys and jump in introducing myself. But it got me thinking about the areas where I serve.
Do we assume there will be new people? Do we intentionally introduce people to one another to help foster connections? Your team can be warm and inclusive, but if you are not intentional about introductions you can quickly make a new person feel like an outsider.
Planning for growth means you embrace the responsibility of making outsiders feel like insiders. (click to tweet) You can lead the way in helping those who are new become part of the fold. Turning outsiders into insiders can be as simple as intentionally introducing yourself to someone new.