Do you do one-on-one meetings?
Do you do one-on-one meetings? (FREE DOWNLOAD)
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- Do you do one-on-one meetings?
As a leader, it’s essential to regularly engage in one-on-one meetings with your direct reports. However, how do you introduce these meetings and make them effective? What’s the process for a successful one-on-one interaction?
My Experience with Individual Meetings
During my time as a manager, I conducted numerous meetings with my direct reports. Looking back, I realize the importance of having more frequent and consistent one-on-one sessions. These meetings proved to be invaluable in building trust with my team members.
When discussing one-on-ones with other executives, a common sentiment arises: recognizing their significance but struggling to find time for them due to competing priorities.
If you genuinely value one-on-one interactions, then dedicating at least 20 minutes every week or every 14 days to each of your direct reports is crucial.
While challenging, these conversations yield significant returns over time, saving both time and resources. Done effectively, they foster a motivated team aligned with your vision.
Regular one-on-ones allow for better understanding of your employees and facilitate trust, streamlining task delegation.
By engaging in these meetings, you enhance your grasp of your employees’ situations and gain insights on how to support them.
Starting One-on-One Conversations
Initiating a successful one-on-one involves adhering to certain principles. Here’s a look at the process:
Choose the Right Setting: Opt for a calm and relaxed environment, which could extend beyond the office, such as during a walk, creating an informal “on-the-go” meeting.
Focus on the Direct Report: Maintain undivided attention on the employee during the conversation, avoiding any distractions. Ensure your smartphone is switched off.
Employee-Centric Approach: In a one-on-one, the employee does most of the talking. It’s a platform for them to share, and you to listen.
The One-on-One Framework
While each one-on-one is unique, establishing a rough structure can help, especially when starting these meetings:
Part 1: Employee’s Time Commence with a question, then listen actively. This phase allows the direct report to discuss matters that matter to them.
Part 2: Manager’s Time This is your time to address issues, offer feedback, discuss goals, organizational changes, and gather the employee’s perspective.
Part 3: Future Focus Talk about upcoming plans and inquire about the employee’s plans. If there are agreed-upon actions, summarize them at the meeting’s close.
Adapt the framework to your needs. These sessions can be shorter, longer, or emphasize specific parts based on the context.
Initiating conversations in one-on-ones requires open-ended questions:
“How are you doing?”
“What challenges are you facing?”
“Is there something you need support with?”
“What’s your take on recent company changes?”
These questions encourage engagement, opinion-sharing, and open dialogue.
If you’re uneasy about starting one-on-ones, address it openly:
Express your commitment to regular individual meetings.
Acknowledge any initial discomfort.
Emphasize the goal of improved collaboration.
Invite the employee’s input on the matter.
The Power of One-on-Ones
The primary advantage of one-on-ones is offering dedicated, uninterrupted time to employees. It signals appreciation and fosters a sense of importance. These interactions provide a platform for employees to share thoughts and concerns.
Remember, these meetings are about the employee, not the leader. Show genuine interest in their work and personality. Over time, well-executed one-on-ones can significantly transform leadership dynamics and outcomes for everyone involved.
Download the checklist
I’ve compiled a checklist for one-on-one meetings. Please feel free to access and download the checklist at no cost by filling out the form below:
If you’re ready to take yourself to the next level, let’s connect and see how we can work together to achieve your goals.