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.
MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
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.
Before discussing performance in a 1:1 meeting, check your empathy first. You want to add value and find out how your direct report feels.