Making the Most of Your One-on-One Meetings

I have been teaching classes in accountability and engagement now for almost 12 years, and the more I study and the more I work with Agencies, the more convinced I am that the most important thing a supervisor can do for success is to conduct one-on-one meetings with all of your direct report employees on a monthly basis.

Often in classes, when I suggest this, the most common response I get from supervisors is that I already meet with my employees on an even more frequent basis.  But often those “meetings” are what I call “task-based” meetings, where the focus and purpose is to discuss the status or work on a project, a case, a briefing, etc.  These are important meetings, but they are not the same as the one-on-one I’m recommending.

The one-on-one meetings I am talking about are “person-based.”  Your sole purpose in this meeting is to check-in with the employee and intently listen to how they are doing. Doing this can deepen your understanding and connection with your employees as well as deepen their connection with you and their commitment work. Both will earn great dividends in creating a high-performance team.

Those of you who know me know that I am a regular reader of the LeadershipFreak, the #1 most socially shared Leadership Blog. Each day Dan Rockwell presents compelling 300-word posts (and a great photo too) to inspire you to reach your highest self as a leader.

Last Friday’s blog – 6 Reasons Employees Don’t Talk to Their Managers – blew me away.  It captured so many concrete actionable suggestions for conducting effective person-based one-on-one meetings that I wanted to share it right away. It includes a series of questions to help you collectively determine how to improve an employee’s day as well prep suggestions for initiating effective meetings.

Follow Dan’s tips and take time to thoughtfully and purposefully plan and conduct your monthly one-on-one meetings.  I am convinced this is the surest path to the most engaged and productive workforce.