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Three Tips for More Impactful One-On-One Meetings

What better way to start the new year than by better supporting your team through more impactful one-on-ones? 

More than likely, you are familiar with the traditional one-on-one approach of highly structured and task-focused meetings. However, in this day and age, employees have come to expect more openness and authenticity in order to facilitate the trust building process. So, how can you accomplish these aims while still ensuring that the work gets done? Consider these three tips for more impactful one-on-ones. 

Get personal. The start of your one-on-one is the perfect time for you and your direct report to catch-up on personal matters. Don’t be fooled as this isn’t the compulsory, “How was your weekend?” question. Rather, this requires going a bit deep and sharing personal details about what’s going on with your life. Why is this? Well, doing so makes you more relatable, which then facilitates more trust building. 

Listen actively. For highly organized and task-focused managers, there is oftentimes a bias towards taking notes and capturing next steps. However, one of the most important things that you can do during a one-on-one is to listen carefully. Listen carefully to what is being shared. Remember, you’re not just listening to be polite, but rather to understand and ultimately support your direct report in the best way possible.

Keep a pulse. While traditional thinking suggests that one-on-one’s should occur at least once every couple of weeks, this should not be the only time that you speak with your employees. It is important to keep a pulse of your team throughout the week. These check-ins can range from informal ‘water cooler conversations’ to more formal surveys. This would allow you, as a leader, to not only have an agenda for the upcoming one-on-one meeting, but to also ensure that your direct reports stay on course prior to the one-on-one.