Guide to Successful 1:1s
A one-on-one meeting with an employee should:
One-on-one meetings open up a Pandora's box of valuable information and benefit everyone. By getting things off their chest and being assured of your support, employees see the leader as trustworthy. And if there is any problem or issue that comes out in the open during the discussion, it can get solved at a faster rate together.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Occasionally, go for a walk and have your 1:1. Occasionally, go get coffee. Go sit in the courtyard. Get lunch or breakfast or dinner. Most often, it’s probably easiest and most efficient to grab or schedule a room and get right into it. Every once in awhile, though, offer to change the setting, as a chance to interact with your team member more as a human being than as just the boss.
If there’s nothing to discuss, it’s ok to cancel. People, too often, view 1:1s as mandatory, but it’s refreshing when you both acknowledge that things are ok for now, or the time may be better spent other ways.
It is a simple, symbolic practice that helps them feel ownership and autonomy for their work and their time.
You’re saying, “You tell me what’s important,” and of course you can coach and guide them to help refine over time what’s important.
Accept that you have to put in place remote work systems, even if more than half of your employees ultimately revert to office-based work.
Intentionally design for the same interactions that would otherwise happen if people were in the office.
Your people need to feel your presence as a leader as they will have fewer opportunities to see you face to face when they work remotely.
1:1 meetings matter. It is important to nurture that essential employee-manager relationship. But it still not easy to get right.
Under pressures, managers are still juggling commitments. Then there's the issue of what to cover, and to avoid a half-hearted performance as a manager.
The goal of an effective 1:1 is not an update from your direct report or for you to lay down some instructions. It's a conversation. It's a chance to hear about your direct reports' ideas for your product, their career goals, and possibly their opinion of their performance.
Keep a list of three potential topics ready for discussion. When they say they have nothing to discuss, you can jumpstart the conversation with one of your items.
Your most precious resource is your own time and energy. When you spend it on your team, it helps build healthy relationships.
Your job as a manager isn't to give advice or 'save the day.'' It's to empower your reports to find the answer themselves. If you want to understand what's going on, ask. Let her lead the conversation while you listen and probe.