In principle, orienting new people to your group prevents conflict and improves creativity. When new people come in without a solid understanding of the group’s purpose and how things are done, there will be mismatched expectations and then conflict. Good orientation ensures we are all on the same page headed in the same direction.
Orientation can foster a sense of belonging and provide structure for creative contributions. Alternatively, it can reveal a lack of fit and indicate “let’s not go through with it.” Both outcomes are valuable.
Practical Tip: Be deliberate about orienting new members. Do not assume that a new member knows what the group is about, how things are done, and what is planned for the future. Provide each new member with information about the group’s purpose, strategic direction, and expectations for member behavior. Someone should spend one-on-one time with every new member.
Provide honest answers to questions even if it might turn someone away.
Be clear about where the group is headed and sincere about the invitation to come along.
– Craig Freshley