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One of the effective modes of communication between employees and their managers is one-on-one communication. These interactions are not just weekly meetings; when done right, they help two individuals connect to achieve a broader organizational goal.
However, if you appear for or conduct a one-on-one meeting in an unstructured way, little can be achieved out of these meetings. After the advent of the pandemic when still many businesses are operating remotely or in a hybrid manner, 1-on-1 meetings have become one of the most crucial tools between managers and employees to connect, especially when they are not present physically on the office premises.
In order to help you ensure that you achieve the most out of your one-on-one meetings, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
Foundations of One-on-One Meetings: The Do’s
- A great manager needs to be a great coach too, who knows the right solution-based and open-ended questions to ask. Prepare yourself with the right set of questions to ask before going for a 1-on-1 meeting with your team members. It is important to ask the right questions and solution-focused questions to motivate the employee and create new mental maps that encourage changes.
- One-on-one meetings are not just meant to track progress on projects or take status updates, they should go beyond that and open the scope for real, raw, and difficult conversations. Remember, it is an opportunity to connect and know each other well which also helps during the time of performance appraisal. Focus on building relationships with your employees because when you do that, it is possible to have a positive impact on their minds.
- Pause for a moment and spend some time on self-reflection before going to your one-on-one meeting. Look and think forward, take time to plan for the most pressing issues. Self-reflection also allows gauging if both you and your employees are on the right alignment or not.
- Remember, a one-on-one meeting is meant for a collaborative connection. It should be aimed in such a way where both the manager and the employee should be willing to take ownership. Encourage dialogue and an open discussion instead of a monologue where the employee just takes orders from the managers.
- Remember to have an agenda in place. Ensure that you just don’t wing it since that communicates a negative message showing that you do not care about the other person’s time.
- Shed light on how the business is doing, areas where it is doing well, and where more work is needed. Chalk out a plan on how the employee and the team can pitch in. This will boost employee morale and allow them to work in a collaborative environment. In this way, the managers get 360-degree feedback from their team members which can give a better outlook for the benefit of the company.
- Provide insightful feedback and shed light on current performance along with further developmental goals.
Quick Tip to Break Down the Monotony of the one-on-one Meetings.
A one-on-one meeting need not be boring and monotonous. Remember, an insightful meeting can happen even without an office space.
Interestingly, many employees feel comfortable to opening up when they are not bound within the office space. This helps to connect well and make the most of your one-on-one meeting.
Don’ts to Remember to help make your One-on-one discussions more effective
- Don’t wing it. Go to the meeting with an agenda in place.
- Don’t just hear, ignore it, and move on. If you do not agree with a point, speak about it and work towards finding a solution with common ground. Ignoring and moving on sends strong negative messages that you don’t care about the other person’s thoughts and feelings.
- Do not start your one-on-one meetings straight away with delegating tasks. Dictating what people should do is old-school management. Ask questions instead to bring out as much information as you can on the table and then work collaboratively towards a common goal.
- Do not confront your team members who might have received a poor review or have not met expectations in the recent past. Instead of saying “you made a terrible mistake” or “you received a really bad review”, try saying “I want you to improve in this area in the next assignment”. Be constructive in your criticism and feedback as much as you can. Make sure that you choose your words carefully. Remember, you are not here to make your employees feel miserable, rather you are here to motivate them to perform better.
Most of us communicate in our workplaces in autopilot mode without putting in a lot of thought and conscious effort. One-on-one meetings are the best way to put in our thoughts and efforts to communicate better and work on building professional relationships. If you have always struggled with conducting an effective one-on-one meeting, the pointers discussed above will help to prepare you better for your next one-on-one meeting. While one-on-one meeting plays a crucial role in connecting the workforce for performance, it is a more feasible alternative to utilize a performance management system that uses data to make things more accessible and manageable.