New Leader Assimilation

Why wait two years or more to really get to know your people (some never do) when a 6-hour process guarantees better results? Better communication, better collaboration, and no secret expectations!

Not sure about this process? Here's what a recent leader said about it:

"The manager assimilation process was a great opportunity to reinforce trust within my team. It is a unique experience. My team had a facilitated discussion about how I was doing as their leader, without me present. Our coach then brought me into the discussion to learn what the unfiltered feedback was on how our team was functioning. It was a very honest, engaging discussion, and I look back on the feedback gathered often. I would recommend this process to any leaders who want to be their best selves for their team." - New Manager, Natural Resources company.


The New Leader Assimilation is a quick, non-threatening way to get answers to important questions and to openly address concerns the team may have. It‘s an interactive, facilitated process that accelerates learning, enhances early bonding and re-energizes the team. It provides a venue for validating information, correcting things thought to be true, and expanding on accurate information that needs elaboration.


In effect, the assimilation process becomes the first team building experience with the new leader where team members simultaneously hear his/her responses. An ideal time frame would be 8-12 weeks after a leader takes on a new team, although the findings show that the process is helpful almost anytime.

This outcome could organically take up to two years. Our total time could be anywhere from 4 – 8 hours depending on questions, discussion, group dynamics, etc.

The Process:

  1.  Pre-work - The leader and the team will receive a copy of the questions and distribute ahead of time.

Sample questions team will answer:

  • What do you already know about the new leader?

  • What would you like to know about him/her to work effectively?

Sample questions Leader will answer:

  • What would you like to know about each of your team members to work effectively?

  • What are your concerns about your team members as it relates to them performing their jobs?

2. Assimilation Meeting:

  • Facilitator and new leader kick off the meeting. 

  • Facilitator explains the meeting’s purpose and process.  Leader encourages the team to be candid and ask any questions they would like. Leader then leaves.

  • Facilitator reviews the questions with the team and records their answers. The team can also add questions for the leader. 

  • The team is dismissed for a break. Facilitator reviews the team’s feedback with the leader one-on-one so s/he can think through responses.

  • Team LUNCH

  • Facilitator reconvenes the team with the leader and facilitates the questions and answers. Leader has the opportunity share answers to questions and provide comments.

A recent leader's assimilation experience: "I was skeptical at first, and the process itself was painful because I heard things about my leadership style that I didn't want to hear. But this was the best experience I've ever had in becoming a better leader, and my team has told me that I am a better leader as a result." - Director, HR

Want to learn more about the assimilation process? Click here.