What to do if tensions rise during onboarding despite good preparation? Which steps are to be taken? An overview!

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Use onboarding superglue - 10 docking techniques for new employees

So that an onboarding process similar for sure runs, like the vast majority of trouble-free flights, interaction quality standards must be observed. Ideally, the quality standards are reminded to all stakeholders prior to onboarding, no matter how experienced they are with context switching. The following safety precautions for the onboarding journey should be taken.

Even if many Executives affect the relationship dynamics intuitively, it can be helpful to be aware of the proven techniques again and again. This is especially true when the pressure increases and with it the likelihood of reacting reflexively. Ten docking techniques have proven particularly effective in integration phases:

1. Swing to a wavelength

In improvisational theater there is a warm-up exercise with an amazing Effect. Pairs are formed. They agree on a topic of conversation, for example whether to do something together after work. The exercise takes place in two stages. In the first stage there is the instruction to consistently reject the suggestions of the interlocutor. It is light, to imagine how faltering that is Conversation runs. The one who tirelessly makes suggestions makes an effort. The interlocutor who rejects the suggestions feels pressured in the course of the conversation. Both of them feel like they are talking past each other. The wavelength doesn't seem right.

In the second round, the interlocutors are asked to respond to all suggestions. It doesn't mean saying yes to everything. For example, if one person suggests going to a beer garden after work, the response could be something like the other person saying, "Oh yes, I think it's a good idea to reflect on the day together Idea. Unfortunately I'm already taken tonight. What do you think if we go out for lunch together tomorrow?” If this docking rule is followed when communicating, a dynamic relationship develops that strengthens the feeling of being on the same wavelength and understanding each other. Especially when different expectations meet in the onboarding phase, this simple docking technique can facilitate collaboration right from the start. docking technology

2. My world - your world

In school, in vocational training and at universities, we have learned clear and our Opinions to represent. Logically constructed chains of arguments were rewarded with good grades. A both-and was easily construed as vague. In the professional world, the differently trained experts then meet. A natural scientist will argue differently than a humanist. Architects have other aspects in mind than psychologists when it comes to designing work environments, for example. A conversational atmosphere quickly develops in which different interaction partners try to convince each other of their point of view.

This communication pattern can be recognized by the repeated use of the phrase yes, but ... If one follows the constructivist view of reality, according to which there is no misperception, but only one perception (quoted from a statement by Haja Molter), many views of reality exist side by side on an equal footing. Neither is right or wrong, all make sense of the Perspektive of the respective viewer. Here, too, a simple docking technique has proven its worth. Whenever you notice that the two words yes, but ... accumulate, you replace the word but with and. In this case, too, the effect is amazing. Due to this small change, different descriptions can remain uncommented next to each other. The desire to be right decreases. It increases the likelihood of a mutually beneficial and constructive one Solution a DAK Bungalow.

3. The art of omission

The omission is a supreme discipline of systemic methods. By omission is meant not reacting reflexively when an offer to communicate is made. This technique requires a high degree of self-control. Since there is a space of possibility between stimulus and reaction, the manager has the Choicehow she reacts (Frankl, 1985, p. 52 ff.). If you want to take a break between the trigger and the reaction, you have to be able to perceive yourself as a neutral observer from the outside in the situation. Only this distanced position makes it possible to consciously close decide. For example, you can report immediately if a colleague asks for help.

But you can also pause for a moment to check what is feasible and useful is at the time and under these circumstances. It may well be that you decide to step in and help out again because it now fits and is consistent. The key point is that you have a choice. The reaction is made consciously and does not occur reflexively. Sandra Janoff and Marwin Weisbord, the founders of the »Future Conferences«, show in their book »Don't just do something, stand there« the power in the Art of omission (Weisbord and Janoff, 2007, pp. 31–48). Especially in phases of context changes, it helps if those involved have an anchor that keeps reminding them of valuable breaks.

It reminds the new executives to stop and consciously take breaks again and again. Some imagine going inside on the balcony, others imagine an eagle looking at the conversation from above. Still others use an object in the room, such as a small globe on the desk or a piece of art on the wall. Those who have mastered the art of omission have equipped their systemic hand luggage with valuable technology that will often be useful in the integration process.

4. Dynamic image of man

During the onboarding phase, you gradually get to know each other better. Both sides form an opinion of each other during the probationary period. With a high level of performance compression, it is understandable that attempts are made to reduce complexity as far as possible. On an interpersonal level, categorical thinking is one way to manage complexity. The classification of interlocutors makes it easier to assess him. Experiences help to classify a person. Condensed empirical knowledge can lead to a good knowledge of human nature. This is helpful to yourself fast to adjust to someone. It becomes a trap when the assessment is categorical and the box once chosen is not reopened. It is helpful in the onboarding process if knowledge of human nature goes hand in hand with a dynamic image of human nature during the introductory phase. With a rigid image of man, a manager would think or say: »The colleague is weak in making decisions.«

This wording is an attribution. The colleague is perceived as if he were like that. The message conveys that this way of being is set in stone and will remain so. This image of man is rigid and gives the colleague no chance for one positive Development. The situation is completely different when the assessment of a colleague is based on a dynamic human image. The wording would be: »At the last staff meeting, my colleague avoided a decision to meet.« With this formulation, a situationally shown Behavior described. In another situation, the colleague could behave differently. The dynamic human image leaves room for positive development. In an integration phase, both sides are well advised to avoid hasty attributions. If specific behaviors are described in feedback discussions, even if they are perceived as irritating or dysfunctional by the feedback giver, a positive development remains possible and all those involved can grow through the integration.

5. Separate what doesn't belong together

In relaxed conversational situations, it is easy constructive to deal with each other. There are no disagreements. The assessment of the situation seems to be similar. Reality perceptions and descriptions differ only minimally from each other. Like two good friends or a well-coordinated couple, the interlocutors seem to have agreed on a world view. In this atmosphere it is easy to pick up on the arguments of the interlocutor. Ideas flow and suggested solutions complement each other. The situation is completely different when different perceptions of reality collide. Especially in the onboarding phase, when partners first have to find each other, it is likely that different experiences and interests will be brought along. If the interlocutors are not careful, an undesirable dynamic can develop in this constellation. What initially began as a factual discussion is becoming more and more personal. emotions associated with interests, act in the way of Communication. It's getting hotter.

The professional level is left more and more, the more the conversation partner needs to be taken seriously and valued in their point of view and argumentation. Not getting right when you think you are right incites the interlocutor. The struggle for a common solution turns into a struggle. In this situation, if there is no glue in the hand luggage for docking, the conversation can escalate. As soon as you notice this dynamic, you should discipline yourself and not judge too quickly. The confrontation in the conversation does not arise from different interests and views. Conflicts of goals are in Company Part of the game. They become a source of disturbance when explanations are combined with the views that are immediately evaluated.

An upcoming restructuring of the Tasks for example, this adhesive would initially be used to describe neutrally. In a next phase, each interlocutor would explain what it means to him. Only at the end would an assessment be made of how good or bad, helpful or disruptive, well thought-out or insulting this measure is. Without glue, phase one (describe) and phase two (explain) move through so quickly that the conversation hardens by focusing on judgments. Differing opinions are insufficiently separated from their evaluation. Anyone who avoids overly hasty assessments and first takes the time to describe the situation neutrally and only then compare the explanations will slow down the conversation. Person and thing can thus be separated more easily. The probability of a constructive problem solving increases.

6. The three Ws of constructive feedback

In the onboarding process, the constructive exchange of views is a critical one success. If it is not done enough, the fit must be very good so that the integration can succeed. Ideally, feedback is ritualized, for example in the form of regular consultations and development talks. A constructive three-stage feedback technology acts as an adhesive and should always be used immediately if possible. For example, one employee sets the rule that everyone in the Team are equal, different from their teammates. She gets feedback on interim results from different interlocutors, regardless of the hierarchy, if she deems it necessary. Teammates who understand by equal that such actions are discussed before communicating with others will be irritated. If you wait for the next ritualized exchange round, for example a retrospective15, it can be that irritations add up and intensify the feeling of disturbance.

To avoid this escalation, this step should always be used if necessary: ​​The constructive feedback takes place in three stages. The three Ws denote the phases perception - effect - desire. In the example above, the irritated teammate could report back after this triad:

  1. Perception: "You presented our team results to the director without consulting us first."
  2. Effect: "This behavior irritates me because I feel ignored."
  3. Wish: »I hope that you will speak to me beforehand in the future. What do you think about that?"

This docking technique also avoids pushing the conversation partner into the corner with you messages. The technology makes it possible to stay with yourself and to find a solution without blaming the interlocutor. This docking technique works best when used as soon as irritation occurs.

7. Switch with Boarding Experience (BX)

In the theater we can witness the effect of this technique. Actors are masters of this technique. You slip into a role and feel, think and act out of this role. They are masters of switching. A variant of this technique is also used in companies to track customer experiences as if you were in the skin of one customers put. Customer Experience (CX) is a Method, customer experiences as comprehensive as possible on different Online- and to understand offline touchpoints of the entire customer experience (customer journey). In this way, products are conceived and developed by the customer. The technique of intensive empathy was named after its founder as the Stanislavski method. A newcomer can adapt this technique for context switching:

She anticipates Boarding Experience (BX) by imagining typical representatives of the new company with whom she will primarily work, the so-called company persona. In preparation for switching, the new leader gathers all the information they can about the group of people they are dealing with Future will mainly work together. Based on this collected data, she visualizes the company persona. The switching is supported by the stimulation of many sensory channels. What does the manager hear, taste, see and feel when they put themselves in the persona's shoes? Based on a typical working day, she recreates the experience as precisely as possible. She imagines where and how this persona lives, how she gets up, gets dressed and has breakfast.

She imagines this person driving to work or their home officeWorkplace how she plans her day, how she talks, walks, eats, when she eats satisfied with her work is what concerns her and what she aspires to. If the newcomer is also able to recall her own experiences that are similar to the experiences and feelings of the persona, the effect of this technique will be deepened. Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler further developed the Stanislavski Technique into Method Acting. They distinguish between reliving a past experience (affective memory), remembering a situation through accompanying sensory impressions (sense memory) and remembering complex feelings (emotional memory). For example, it can be enlightening when the new hire recalls the moment she was the one who welcomed a new hire and integrated her into her team. Anyone who gets involved in this technique will be surprised by its effect. Thinking, feeling and acting changes for the duration of the implementation. The newcomer gains access to another inner World. On this basis, you can relate very well to them needs and expectations of their key contacts in the company.

8. Modulate roles depending on the situation

Depending on which mode a manager is in, they focus their attention on other things. As a leader, attention will be more on Strategies and overarching goals, as an expert on the technical relationships and the data situation, as a team player on the cooperation and the People in the team. Depending on the mode, different skills are required. Accordingly, the manager behaves differently. According to Virginia Satir, we have choices rather than simply reacting to situations. »Once one realizes that all his communication has been learned, he can set about changing it if he wants to«. The new manager can act as an expert, take on a moderating role, give instructions as a superior, as a colleague eye level to work in a team.

In the first weeks of familiarization in particular, conscious handling of the different behavioral modes is an onboarding success factor. Role modulation is not a linear process. It is context sensitive. Taking on the role of expert too early poses risks if it is taken unilaterally and exaggerated. In the first six weeks of familiarization, it is advisable to first record the general conditions and legalities of the new system before you bring in your own expertise and push ahead with innovations. In many companies, Raymond Meredith Belbin's team role model is used to distinguish professional modes. He differentiates between nine team roles: the innovator, pioneer, integrator, doer, observer, team worker, implementer, perfectionist and specialist.

At the beginning of the induction period, it is advisable to consciously assume the role of observer, team worker and integrator, before the role of innovator and specialist can gain more and more weight. Anyone who masters this modulation technique consciously selects the appropriate mode depending on the context and onboarding phase. A IT-Expert, for example, makes a conscious decision in the first few weeks in the new Company for the role of coordinator. He invites to meetings, welcomes everyone and moderates the discussion from a neutral position. As soon as sufficient trust has been built up, the way has been paved for a stronger weighting of the expert and driving role.

9. Build cocreative momentum

Many new managers are expected to bring a breath of fresh air to the company. In extreme cases, they should form the spearhead of a transformation process together with other innovators. At Bosch, for example, thousands of employees are being hired against the background of the strategic realignment of the group in order to further develop the technology group into an IT company. If a company manages to quickly build momentum in the desired direction, such a transformation process will gain momentum. Where should a single newcomer get the Energy take for the momentum? To explore this, companies should consider three Ask put:

  1. To what extent is the company prepared not only to record and reflect on customer feedback, but also to take action promptly? (Feedback culture)
  2. How pronounced is the willingness and ability of the employees to consistently take the customer perspective? (Empathy)
  3. To what extent are rapid prototyping and co-creation used to develop solutions? (Speed)

The new leader can gain a lot of strength and energy from co-creation with other innovators. This does not only mean the colleagues who are also new to the company. It's everyone Employees meant to do pioneering work. A newcomer who quickly enters Network of company-experienced and new employees has created good starting conditions for successful onboarding. Whether in an informal peer group or an officially nominated task force, the newcomer can reinvent the future together with like-minded people.

10. De-escalation through reset

This last docking technique is relevant if you have missed the right time to use a superglue. Usually the Achilles' heel was hit unintentionally. A conversation partner unintentionally presses an invisible point on the other party. An emotional reaction arises promptly. This reflex is usually surprising for both conversation partners. This process often runs so quickly that the cause can only be traced and analyzed afterwards. Working to mitigate or prevent such a response is a lifelong learning task.

The faster way is a constructive handling of the Achilles' heel, which every person has in his personal form. The more energy is used to prevent something, the more energy is tied up. It is therefore energy-saving and more effective to acquire awareness of reflex reactions as early as possible. This perception needs to be trained. Situations in which feelings are only moderately stimulated are particularly suitable for this training. The more emotions are in the game, the more the options for action decrease. In extreme cases, they can cause archaic reactions. Depending on the personality type, only the options remain - fight - escape - freeze. The conversation dynamics escalate. What can a manager do when it has come this far? The adhesive reset is used.

It will be like at the beginning of a hypnotic coaching Brain put into an alpha state. The technique is simple and works in a matter of seconds: the person whose Achilles' heel was hit rolls it Eyes all the way up as soon as she catches the surging emotions. She takes a deep breath. As she slowly exhales, she consciously lowers her eyes, which she closes when she has reached the bottom of the rolling movement. The reset technique is completed with three deep breaths. With every breath she deepens the relaxation that occurs immediately. If the situation permits, managers can use another tool that they always have with them: the index finger. She holds her index finger in front of her eyes at a distance of approx. 20 cm and fixes it while she rolls her eyes. After using this reset technique, there is a high probability of regaining access to a variety of behavioral strategies.

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