One-on-One meetings need to be more than a glorified status update. Many managers hold them, but too often they are just a waste of time. They are a great opportunity to find out what is really going on with your team and how you can better lead them. Use these tips to get real value out of your time and be more effective.
1. Calendar a Recurring Time - One-on-Ones need to be a recurring event. These meetings should be scheduled on both party’s calendars in advance, so you and your team commit to having these conversations and stay consistent. Try not to cancel or reschedule. There isn’t necessarily a sweet spot in occurrence. Some choose to do 1 hour a week and others 30 minutes once a month. As long as it is consistent, it will be more effective.
2. Have Your Employee Set the Agenda - Remember this meeting is about them and not you. You can help add structure, but go into the meeting with accomplishing what they need. This will give your employee ownership of their work and time.
3. Encourage Feedback - These meetings are a place for your employee to give feedback to YOU. It is a time where they can tell you what they need assistance on or what they are struggling with. Your place is to actively listen and get a better understanding of your team. By showing recognition of what they are saying, you will gain respect and build a stronger relationship with your team members.
4. You’re the Developer - Leaders are developers of people. Make sure you leave time to discuss your employee’s career goals, opportunities for promotions, and learning opportunities. Find out how they like to learn, what skills they want to develop, and if they would benefit from more coaching. Investing in their growth helps everyone.