Do you really need to meet regularly with each of your direct reports?
Supervisors are very busy people and many try to short-cut the need for these meetings, but research shows that they are critical to maximizing the performance of your team. Here are some ideas on how to run productive one-on-one meetings:
*Lay the groundwork. Explain the purpose of the meeting ahead of time and let the person know what they need to prepare.
*Determine cadence. How often you meet with a direct report will depend on the type of work they do, their experience level, and your need to know details. If you are managing a less experienced person and you need details, then weekly meetings are important. You can go longer between meetings as these factors change.
*Create an agenda collaboratively. Ask for input. Perhaps use a Google doc that you can both edit. Don’t add any “gotcha” agenda items at the last minute.
*Set the tone. Close your computer and put your phone away. Express appreciation for their time and focus; be present.
*Listen more than you talk. This not a time for you to give a speech. Listen to what they have to say and be attentive. Check here for suggestions on effective listening.
*Add your perspective. But resist telling them what to do. If they have an idea on how to address an issue and you think it “might” work – then let them go with it. Otherwise you will train them to contact you for every small thing. Not good.
*End well. Stay focused and “stick the landing.” Thank them again for all of their hard work and remind them how pleased you are to have them on the team.
Take some time after every few meetings to reflect on how they are going. Ask your direct reports for their feedback. You can improve the effectiveness of these meetings over time and they can be a win-win for you both.
*Ideas for this blog taken from: Rogelberg, S. G., “Make the Most of Your One-on-One Meetings,” Harvard Business Review, November – December 2022, pp. 139-143.