Regardless of which resource you tap in to, the need for Effective Communication is always considered a business essential for Managers and Leaders. Coupled with the need for today’s team-members to observe transparency within their workplace, there has never been a more important workplace essential than open and effective communication.
Whilst the broadcast-style of communication can work wonders when sharing a generic message to a large audience, strong business relationships are built upon more intimate and meaningful communications. Herein lies the business sweet-spot that is the 1-on-1.
The Role of 1-on-1 Meetings
In many workplaces, the announcement of a pending 1-on-1 with a Team Leader or Manager can conjure up undesirable images for the employee. Too often, 1-on-1 meetings have served as a tool for Managers and Leaders to address under-performance and to modify or correct a behaviour or action. In this instance, the opportunity for further developing a meaningful business relationship can be eroded, since the meeting can be viewed as a negative interaction from the perspective of the employee or team member.
The 1-on-1 meeting provides an ideal forum for the exchange of ideas, building rapport, tracking progress on projects and goals and discussing engagement and performance – all within a safe and confidential setting.
As a Manager or Leader, these insights to your people are essential in order to remain connected with the team. To dismiss the value of these engagements is to fuel a disconnect between the Management or Leadership group and the remainder of the workforce.
Prepare for the Meeting in Advance
In order to make the most of the time you will have together, and to make the meeting less intimidating for the individual, take steps to prepare for the meeting.
- Schedule a time and place for the meeting with the individual, making sure it suits both parties
- Establish goals or objectives for the meeting
- Draft an agenda – invite input from the individual
- Collate any information which will assist in discussions
- Use a reminder to allow you to stick to the appointed time
Making it more than a Chat
The use of an agenda can allow the Manager and the individual to address key issues and provide both types of feedback – reinforcing and re-directing.
A simple format for 1-on-1’s
- Informal check-in: i.e. what have they been involved in, what are they looking forward to.
- Recap on recent work: an opportunity for the individual to share recent successes, challenges and goal-tracking.
- Forthcoming work/goals: a chance to discuss what lies ahead for the company and their role in it. This provides a chance to offer coaching or mentoring opportunities.
- Open discussion: this provides the individual the chance to raise any concerns or questions. Here is the time to really listen!
- Wrap-up & action items: highlight the key take-aways for both and set actionable items (2-3) to focus on prior to the next meeting.
Remember, regardless of the management structure of the business, everyone should be working toward a similar/same goal. Therefore, it’s integral that 1-on-1 meetings should create a platform where all team members can collaborate on business objectives.