Make Your 1-on-1s Awesome!
6 Tips to Get the Most Out of 1-on-1 Meetings
One of my very first blog entries listed three important reasons to have 1-on-1 meetings with your employees. It was one of the first things I wrote because I believe so strongly in 1-on-1s. They’re crucial to the health of your team and your working relationships. Knowing how to do them well is even more crucial.
Here are 6 tips on making your 1-on-1s awesome:
1. Have Them Regularly
Schedule regular 1-on-1 meetings even if they aren’t “needed.” All of your direct reports should have them on their schedule regularly. That way, if you have to skip one, it won’t be a problem.
2. Lead with Life
When you have a 1-on-1 meeting with an employee, the most important question (and the one you should lead with) is about life. Always start with: How are you doing? It’s important to have your employees share, of course, and if that’s the first question, you’re less likely to skip over how they’re actually doing and just focus on work. It shows you care… because you should.
3. Ask About Projects & The Work Itself
After you talk about how they’re doing, it’s time to ask how work projects are going. Are they on track? Are there any issues? This helps you gauge progress, analyze any risk of losing employees, track potential issues with the team, and get a leg up on conflict resolution.
4. Ask About the Future
After checking in about life and current projects, set your sights to the future. Is there anything your employee wants to see change? Another trajectory they want to be on? This shows interest in their growth and lets them know you’ll allow them to grow – a winning combo for keeping employees happy and keeping them around.
5. Give Constructive Feedback
In addition to checking in, 1-on-1s are a great time to give constructive feedback in a timely fashion. Private meetings are also a good time for any uncomfortable conversations you need to have, or to discuss new opportunities on the horizon.
Remember that a 1-on-1 is a two-way conversation. Yes, you’re leading the meeting, but make sure you’re paying attention to what your employee says and make room for them to ask their own questions.
If you hit all 6 of these tips and practice them regularly, there’s no doubt you’ll have awesome 1-on-1s on a regular basis. So, get on out there and schedule some 1-on-1s today!