Managers – Learn to have an effective one-on-one meeting with your team
[This article was written by James Vargas.]
“Good communication often reduces the gap that builds unrealistic hopes and helps to build healthier relations”
Team meets are often a great chance for both parties to understand each other well. One-on-one meetings are one such part of the process where the direct reporting of the employees are held by the managers. But do you think these meetings are worthwhile for spending your precious time?
The answer to this question is “Yes” only if you as a manager know how to make these meetings productive. The process of evaluation and direct reports might be a daunting process for your team member, but it’s up to you how you make this 60-minute session a comfortable experience for them and also can give them the right feedback for which they are present there.
Below are some of the points to consider that can help you make the best use of the time that you allot to each of your employees monthly.
Ask them “how are you” (and genuinely mean it)
Starting a conversation with a light question like “how are you” is the best way to make them comfortable to talk to you. With this question let them answer how they are doing and if you get the typical reply “I am good”, this can be a sign that you need to work really hard to get things out.
Try to ask them again “How are you, really?” emphasize the word really to make them understand that you notice something that they might think you don’t. Help them answer it by making your best try to understand things that they are trying to say. Ask “How is work? Are they happy doing it? Are they getting along well with the team?
Let them think and answer each of these questions even if they take your whole 60 minutes as its there time to speak up and share things with you.
Get a bit personal
So once you are done with the warm-up session by knowing whether they are happy working in the office, it’s time to ask them some questions that might not relate to work. Ask them about their passion apart from the field they are in, what are those things that inspire them and help them learn? What do they like to do after office hours?
Try to be friendly but restrict yourself from not getting too personal to make someone uncomfortable. Getting personal will help you identify a different aspect of their personality and also give you a point of conversation to talk about.
Feedback is most important
So now after getting friendly enough to talk about some tough aspect, it’s time for the most important thing for which the meetings are held that are performance evaluation and feedback process.
As you go through all the statistics and graphs of your employee’s performance during the course of time, give them your view about each of the aspects they have worked upon. Tell them the areas they need to improve and also appreciate them for the good performance that they might have given. Tell them how doing a particular task in a certain way can help them easily solve the issues that they are facing.
What growth they expect in their field
After the evaluation process is completed, you can find out what’s in their mind by asking them questions related to their future. Know what are their desires in their life talking about the professional ones.
What do they aspire to become and how hard are they working to achieve that goal. Are they working daily on their skills to improve it with time or what are they doing to increase their value in the niche market?
Share your own experiences related to theirs
You have asked them enough questions to get the information that you needed whether it mattered or not, now don’t just be a listener, allow them to be one. Share your own stories or experience that can relate to the ones that they have shared and try to build up a good repo with them as you talk.
Tell them some professional incidents that could help them deal with similar situations when they face one in their professional career.
Till now the session was on what do you think about the person, but as you end the one-on-one meeting, ask them what they think about the place that they are working.
What changes do you think must be made or can be improved from an employees perspective that can benefit the company and its people as a whole. This information can help you know what in your employees head and how can this be implemented in order to make sure everything works smoothly in the office.
What difference can they make to the company with their efforts
As they are about to leave make sure you smile and make them realize that the efforts that they make are valued by the organization and that they matter to you as well as the company. As they leave to tell them to put aside all the thoughts and contemplate about what difference do they make to themselves by working each day here?
Tell them the answer to this question is what all matters!
A one-on-one meeting is a great chance for you to motivate your team at regular intervals and know them better. These meets are valuable for better understanding and coordination between the member and the team lead. In order to make this session productive, you as a team leader should know exactly what to ask and how you want the session to move on.
Make sure your employees leave your cabin motivated and clear about what he needs to do next and you are clear about what are their goals and how they think about their work. Try to connect with them at the personal level, through this meeting make them realize that you as a leader value them individually and appreciate the work that they do.
James Vargas is an experienced business expert, consultant, and manager at Get Everything Delivered, a business consulting services. With the 1.5-decade corporate experience, he is now sharing his guidance to start-ups to grow with corporate team building activities and project delivery solutions.