One to One (1:1) meetings with my directs have been one of the most rewarding activities I’ve done as a manager.
They are a fabulous way to build relationships, gain an understanding of individual’s strengths and weaknesses and understand more about my direct’s career ambitions and wishes.
When I was managing 24+ directs I was still doing the 1:1s as I knew how valuable they were, even though they did take up a huge amount of my week.
My team gained a lot from the 1:1s also, as it built a trusting and safe place to talk about concerns, career ambitions and any problems they were facing.
I aim to do my 1:1s every week where possible.
With 24 directs it wasn’t possible to do them every week so they were moved to fortnightly. For some directs this even moved to every 3 weeks but they lost the effectiveness, so they moved back to fortnightly.
My advice is to do 1:1s with every single member of your team. Don’t do 1:many (A manager and more than one direct) – you’ll not build the relationship. Relationships are built with one person at a time by communicating – listening and speaking and conversing.
If you’re not already doing them, you’ll be amazed at how your team will respond positively to them.
I’ve created a PDF version of the 1:1 form I use. Here is the 1:1 Template.
Just make sure that when you do a 1:1 you give your direct the opportunity to start the conversation. It’s over to them and in the first instances they’ll likely talk about work. That’s cool. Over time they will start to talk about their ambitions, weaknesses, strengths and a lot more. It’s a fun journey.
Enjoy the form. Enjoy the 1:1. Enjoy the positivity it can bring.
Manager-tools have a good series of podcasts on 1:1s – best to start right at the beginning with this one.
I’ll be writing a little more about 1:1s over the next few months.