Five Ways to Welcome Newbies

When long-time LCinPP folks arrive at the Embassy Suites for another year’s get-together, we’re so excited to see our friends that we hug and almost bubble over.  But there are many people attending for the first time who may feel shy, out of their element, uncomfortable, awkward, or just not know anyone else.  So here are some ideas that we can all take to heart to make them feel more included and totally welcome:

1. Reach out to anyone who seems to be isolated or different than yourself by introducing yourself.  If you’re usually quiet and reserved, stretch your own comfort level a bit by understanding uncomfortable it can feel to be new, and reach out.
2. Find out at least three interesting things about them.
3. Introduce them to someone you know.
4. Ask open-ended questions. They’re good practice for your business to build relationship quickly for more effective counseling. Here’s some questions to get you started:

   Where are you from?

   What’s that area known for?

   Tell me about your business!

   Is it new, or how long have you been in practice?

   What are this year’s goals for your business?

   What did you hope learn at this year’s workshops?

   Is there anything you need help with?

   Do you have any questions about the workshops or fuzzy areas I can explain?

   Can I introduce you to someone who can help you with it?

   What are you good at doing?

   What makes you proud?

   Do you have any kids?

   What was your breastfeeding experience like?

   How did you decide to become a lactation consultant?

   How did you hear about LCinPP?

   What have you heard about LCinPP?

   Do you know anyone else here?

   Did you find the hotel okay?

  Do you know about the Manager’s Reception (free drinks!) and the free cooked-to-order breakfast tomorrow morning for hotel guests?

   Let me introduce you to some great people right over there!

5. Listen beyond the first sentence. People have different ways of speaking and express themselves differently than you might. If you just keep listening for understanding, an idea or thought that you may easily dismiss as “it won’t work for me or my setting” may actually be a novel or unique idea that WOULD work.

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