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Guide to Successful 1:1s

The Attitude Of The Leader

Once a leader realizes that there is a lot to be learned and everyone around us has an internal life as rich and conflicted as ours, a mutually benefiting 1:1 can be conducted.

One has to know the right questions to ask, not thinking of oneself as an authority figure, but as a learning partner of one's employees and as a student of their insights.

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Guide to Successful 1:1s

Guide to Successful 1:1s

https://uptickapp.com/successful-1-on-1-meetings-guide

uptickapp.com

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Key Ideas

One-On-Ones

1:1s (or one-on-ones) are worth every leader's time, help maintain employee relationships, and builds trust.

We need to equip ourselves for common challenges and choose the right questions to ask while ensuring adequate follow up.

Rather than being a clueless boss, it is imperative to become a respected leader, one who has harnessed the energy, resources, and processes to work optimally, with the right information at hand.

A Hearty Talk

A one-on-one meeting with an employee should:

  • Encourage disclosure.
  • Be regularly occurring in a private setting.
  • Psychologically safe.

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.

Introduction To The Employees

If employees are not familiar with 1:1 meetings, they might think it is a precursor to layoffs, or think of them as another waste of time.

Make sure the right message goes across the team, ensuring that these sessions are now a regular occurrence, and involve you meeting with everyone one by one, to discuss priorities and problems that don't fit in other meetings.

If there is resistance or your employees are short of time, offer them assistance with their work, or accommodate them to a different time, while underlining the importance of the 1:1 session.

Common Challenges and Procedures

If the employee only wants to talk or badmouth co-workers, the leader needs to steer them back, making them focus on what can be controlled. Look for key points in their venting and check if anything that is mentioned is not unlawful harassment for anyone.

Some other ways to ensure compliance:

  • Have a pre-set agenda.
  • Keep the meeting brief(15 to 20 minutes).
  • Having a written recap or minutes of the meeting from the employee.

Unhappy And Distrusting Employees

Chronically unhappy employees are always at risk of quitting or committing a mistake. The leader needs to work with them and prioritize their growth, compensate them fairly, and optimize their daily work.

If the employee doesn't trust you, start with a clean slate and provide direct assurance that you are going to do your best in addressing any problem. If need be, you can apologize for any past issues.

The Attitude Of The Leader

Once a leader realizes that there is a lot to be learned and everyone around us has an internal life as rich and conflicted as ours, a mutually benefiting 1:1 can be conducted.

One has to know the right questions to ask, not thinking of oneself as an authority figure, but as a learning partner of one's employees and as a student of their insights.

Questions

A few questions related to various aspects of work:

  • Icebreaker: How has this last week been for you?
  • Productivity: Is there anything in your work life that you would like my help with?
  • Team: How is everything going with the people you are working with? Any specific interactions you want to talk about?
  • General: How happy you are in your current profile? What could make it better?
  • Work Relationships: Are you getting the right balance between working alone and working with others?
  • Career: What skills would you like to work on?
  • Manager Relationship: What aspect of your job you would like more help or coaching in?

Follow Up

Many issues cannot be solved in a 20-minute meeting, and it is a good practice to follow up and provide a solution at a later time.

Important points for Follow-up:

  • Do not promise or assure any solution in advance.
  • Retaliate that these meetings are confidential.
  • Take their buy-in on the problems and proposed solutions.
  • Park unanswered questions at a later date, finding the answer and getting back to the employee.
  • A written recap is a great way to summarize the team members' achievements, misses and patterns.

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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.

Manager's best tool

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.

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What makes meetings effective
  1. They achieve the meeting's objective.
  2. They take up a minimum amount of time.
  3. They leave participants feeling that a sensible process has been followed.
The Meeting's Objective
An effective meeting serves a useful purpose. This means that in it, you achieve a desired outcome.

For a meeting to meet this outcome, or objective, you have to be clear about what it is.

To prepare an agenda, consider the following factors:
  • Priorities – what absolutely must be covered?
  • Results – what do you need to accomplish at the meeting?
  • Participants – who needs to attend the meeting for it to be successful?
  • Sequence – in what order will you cover the topics?
  • Timing – how much time will spend on each topic?
  • Date and time – when will the meeting take place?
  • Place – where will the meeting take place?

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Remote-first Mindset

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.

  • If done right, a remote-first infrastructu...
Build a socially-connected culture

Intentionally design for the same interactions that would otherwise happen if people were in the office.

  • Culture is what naturally happens when a group of people gets together for any period.
  • A great culture happens with intentional design and influence. It's the reason you should make your company's mission, vision, values, operating principles, standards, and agreements visible. 
  • Culture is experienced through emotions, including how your employees feel about the company, you, other leaders, and peers. That feeling is developed through human interaction at the water cooler, kitchen, or hallway conversations.
Your leadership presence

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.

  • Regularly show up in a variety of forms that can include weekly video meetings, periodic company-wide emails, or presence in public channels.
  • Err on the side of more communication rather than less.

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Building strong teams

When building a strong team, managers should take into account several aspects, such as providing a clear plan about the objectives and how to reach them or establishing a so-called 'shared scorebo...

Rules enable a better organization

Once you have set your mind on building a strong team, you should find a way to create a set of rules that is specific only to your team, what can be then called the team culture. Make sure team members understand and obey the chosen rules.

Respect your team

Respect is essential within a community. The same applies to teams: as a manager, you should make sure your team members feel respected and confident enough to want to do their best when working. 

Furthermore, as a leader, it is your duty to make everybody understand and apply the same politics within your team.

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Don’t Rely On Your Memory

If you want to remember things, don't rely on your memory. Put it in writing or in a digital notebook.

Make Back-Ups Of Everything
  • Make sure to back up your computer files.
  • Make duplicates for your car and home keys.
  • Scan your IDs, passports and bank details, and put it all in a secured folder on your computer.

Keep all your financial records, birth certificates, land titles and insurance in one folder, preferably in a safe.

Have a designated place for everything
  • Sort out your clothes, cleaning materials and everything else and keep them in labeled containers or closets at home. 
  • Organize your work space well so that your every move is conserved, knowing exactly where everything is.

Doing this will take time, but it is easier to find what you need.

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Approaching Burnout At Work
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Routines Against Burnout

Strong morning and nighttime routines increase your productivity levels, ability to focus, and improve your overall mental and physical health. Your routines can include a healthy meal, exercise, reading, meditation, enjoying time with your family and friends.

However you build your routines, they should be full of activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Self-care is essential to dealing with job burnout.

Burnout Is An Emotional Exhaustion

It’s a syndrome that results from an extreme accumulation of improperly managed workplace stress that can lead to physical, mental, and social consequences.

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Be direct

When having a difficult conversation, be direct and get to the point quickly.

Difficult conversations become even more difficult when the delivery...

Be specific

The more clarity you can provide, the better the critique will be received during a difficult conversation.

Be honest and thorough with your feedback, and fully clarify why you're having the conversation. Offer as many concrete examples as possible so the person understands you're not just pulling things out of thin air. 

Plan out the conversation
Prepar for a difficut conversation in advance: think of what you’re going to say, as well as anticipate how the other person might react

The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to stay even tempered and not get flustered, and therefore deliver a more solid critique.

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Origins of the non-violent communication method

Marshall Rosenberg developed a practical strategy for peaceful conflict resolution called non-violent communication. 

By focusing on language and process, the theory goes, in...

Observe and recap

The Non-violent communication (NVC) process begins with neutral observation.

In conversations, this is most easily done by recapping what someone has said, without emotional input.

That means not attaching any judgment or “story” to your response.

Describe emotions, not positions

For NVC, talk feelings, not issues. 

The hard part in nailing this step is expressing only your own emotional turmoil, rather than translating your emotions into blame. 

Describing feelings of concern, fear, heartbreak, rage, dismay, or confusion are useful.

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Something to look forward to

Give yourself something to look forward to

Set up a lunch for next week that makes you anticipate good things to come. People may be slow to reply since it's Friday afternoon, b...

Organize the week

Go through next week's calendar and plan out the entire week

Set reminders (mail and phone) for all the meetings, deadlines, and to-do items. Appoint to every task a specific time slot.  You'll clear your mind of that nagging feeling that you forgot something and have a truly relaxing weekend, leaving you happier on Monday.

Shake up your routine

Make a list of your typical distractions, the habits and stressors that keep you from starting the workweek with a bang. 

Make a list and then write down what you will do instead. Create a new routine that's uplifting and energizing. Put it where you will see it first thing Monday morning.

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Look for Logical Overlaps

Cut your goal list by identifying relationships between items

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Make the Time

Replace the phrase “have time” with “make time.” 

Saying, “I don’t have time to [work towards your goal] ” isn’t doing you any favors.  Use " I am making time to [work for your goal]".

This way, start thinking of time as being a plentiful resource and declare it to be something within your control.

Avoid Over-Planning

Instead of over-planning, come up with one tangible next step for each item on your dream bucket list, that will get you going in the right direction.

Being open to life's serendipity—instead of micromanaging—will make you much happier in the long run.