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Tips for Successful One-On-One Meetings

Tips for Successful One-On-One Meetings

No matter if you schedule one-on-one meetings each quarter, every month, or weekly, these meetings must be a priority. These meetings allow employees to ask questions, gather feedback, make suggestions, etc. It helps them recognize the areas where improvements could be made, provides a setting to receive praise, and allows them to work with their managers to reach their career goals. 

Unfortunately, many one-on-one meetings are rushed, provide little value, and turn into gossip sessions rather than productive workshops. Here are a few tips as a manager for turning these one-on-one meetings into a success.

Don’t Cancel or Reschedule

When your schedule becomes full, one-on-one meetings with employees are often one of the first meetings to go. Don’t let this happen. These meetings show your employees that you value their time, that you want to talk to them, and they are a priority. When done correctly, these meetings can improve employee engagement and help you generate ideas to boost business. 

Keep in mind that these meetings can be short, just make sure that they happen. 

Be a Good Listener

One-on-one meetings are not about you sharing a long list of weaknesses or complaints to an employee. This will only make employees dread these meetings and struggle with you as a leader. Rather, you want to be the one who listens. Ask questions about how the employee feels in his or her position. Ask what short-term and long-term goals he or she is working towards and how you can assist. Learn more about their struggles and challenges in the workplace. 

When you listen, you better understand your employee. You will know how to best help him or her find success and reach their goals. It will also make you appear more approachable when the big issues do arise in the workplace. 

Come Prepared

Before every meeting, particularly these one-on-one meetings, come prepared with an agenda and a list of topics you wish to discuss or questions you want to ask. This will help you get the most from the conversation and ensure that every important subject matter is addressed. 

If there are certain issues you wish to discuss with your employee, bring examples or statistics to back it up. The better prepared you are, the more effective your meeting will be. 

Do Not Focus Exclusively on the Negative

If there are several issues you wish to discuss with your employee, don’t make the entire meeting focused on these negative qualities, incidents, etc. Include some praise in the conversation as well. You don’t have to start with the praise sandwich method, where you begin and end with praise and throw all of your critiques in the middle of the conversation. Just make sure you add some positive feedback and recognition in the conversation somewhere. 

One-on-one meetings are not only beneficial for yourself but for your employee as well. Make these meetings a priority and use the above tips to ensure it is a success.