Incorporating New Voices into Existing Teams

In the wake of recent local and European elections, the country has seen a fresh influx of newly elected representatives joining the ranks of seasoned politicians. This phenomenon is not unique to the political sphere; it is also a common occurrence in corporate teams, where new leaders are brought in to represent the voices of their people and stakeholders. The University of Limerick’s Student Life team, for whom I recently had the pleasure of facilitating a two-day induction programme for its newly elected student body, provides a compelling example of this process.

UL Student Life Seminar Group Induction

Integrating New Voices: Student Life Seminar Group Induction

The Student Life team, comprising both existing staff and newly elected student representatives, including the student president and their supporting team members, presents a unique challenge. The task is to integrate the new voices into the existing team while respecting the established vision and processes. This requires a delicate balance between embracing new ideas and ensuring continuity.


Supporting the New Leaders

To achieve this, we employed a three-pronged approach to onboard the new electorate and foster a harmonious working relationship between the old and the new.


1. Linking the New to the Established Vision

The first step was to link the new representatives’ manifestos to the wider and already established vision of the Student Life team. This involved a collaborative vision-board exercise, where the incoming and outgoing staff worked together to bring the new staff’s manifesto to life. This exercise not only helped the new members understand the existing vision but also allowed them to contribute their own ideas and perspectives. By doing so, we ensured that the new voices were not only integrated but also empowered to shape the future of the team.


2. Supporting New Leader Voices

The second step was to provide the new representatives with the necessary support to bring their manifestos to life. We did this by hearing from the established support team about the various resources and initiatives available to them. This included guidance on existing processes, training programs, and mentorship opportunities. By doing so, we ensured that the new leaders had the necessary tools and knowledge to succeed in their roles.


3. Leadership Training and Guidance

The final step is to provide the new representatives with ongoing leadership training, advice, and guidance to help them navigate their new roles. This will include workshops on effective communication, self-awareness, conflict resolution, and time management. We also shared insights on common pitfalls to avoid as newly elected representatives, such as the importance of building relationships and staying focused on the team’s goals.

These three steps not only help the new representatives integrate into the existing team but also ensure that they are equipped to make a positive impact. The outcome is expected to be a harmonious and productive working environment where new and existing voices alike, are valued and respected.


Lessons for Corporate Teams

The experience of integrating new leaders into the Student Life team at the University of Limerick offers valuable lessons for corporate teams. When new leaders are brought in to represent the voices of their people and stakeholders, it is essential to strike a balance between embracing new ideas and ensuring continuity. By following the three steps outlined above, corporate teams can ensure a smooth transition and foster a collaborative working environment.


Embracing New Voices

In the words of Éamon de Valera, “The old and the new must be merged. The old must be preserved, but the new must be allowed to grow. The old must be respected, but the new must be given a chance to develop.” This sentiment is particularly relevant in the context of integrating new leaders into established teams, where the old and the new must come together to create a cohesive and effective working environment.

As we continue to navigate the complexities of leadership and representation, it is essential that we prioritise collaboration, inclusivity, and effective communication to build a brighter future for all. On that note, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all newly elected candidates the very best of luck with their endeavours.

Do you need help transitioning your team to new leadership? Contact us today to discuss solutions in more detail: book a clarity call or email

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