Maximize Your Meetings
In a world of digital communication, the value of one-on-one meetings cannot be overstated. They’re a great way to stay on the same page, collaborate on projects, and build a personal connection with your employees. In her Harvard Business Review article “How to Make Your One-on-Ones with Employees More Productive”, Rebecca Knight outlines how to make the most of these meetings.
Make it a regular thing. How often you have one-on-ones might be different for each employee, so it’s a good idea to experiment until you find the right frequency. Once you do, make it a consistent, repeating event. Standing meetings make employees less likely to come to you with day-to-day interruptions.
Prepare. Before the meeting, make a list of things you want to discuss, and have your direct report do so as well. When you meet, compare lists and outline a loose schedule. You want to have enough structure to make sure you’ll cover the most important things, but still maintain some flexibility.
Be there. Be on time, and don’t cancel at the last minute. At the meeting, turn off your phone and ignore your computer. One-on-ones are important for your personal connections with employees. If you’re distracted, you’ll be sending a message that you don’t care about your employee.
Ask questions. Discussing you employees’ professional development and career plans can be a good way to foster a personal connection. Make sure you let your employees know ahead of time so that they can prepare. Anand Sanwal, CEO of CB Insights, sends questions in calendar invites so his employees can think about them prior to the meeting. Some of his best questions include “Who do you admire in the organization and why?” and “What is the biggest opportunity we’re missing out on?”