Do you ever find yourself constantly pushing back or putting off one-on-one meetings with your team as you are simply too busy?
Have you ever walked away from a one-on-one, thinking about how that time chatting could have been better spent pushing a project forward?
It’s easy to fall into this mindset if you don’t see the inherent value in one-on-one meetings, and often the reason we don’t appreciate their importance is simply that we aren’t running our meetings effectively.
Ultimately, one of the biggest factors determining how a person performs in their role and how happy a person is at work is their relationship with their immediate supervisor. These relationships are generally built on trust and open, quality communication.
This is why, as a leader, you need to prioritise frequent and effective one-on-one meetings if you want your team members to perform at their best. While on the surface they may seem like a big time commitment, in the end, they will save you more time than you realise.
There are three core reasons why we need to have these one-on-ones each week:
- Support – Ensuring they feel cared for and have everything they need to succeed
- Accountability – Ensuring they feel challenged and focused on all of the outcomes of their role
- Development – Ensuring they are able to learn, grow and progress as a person each week
In order to help you get the most out of your one-on-one meetings, we’ve put together a simple 4-part SAFE framework for you to follow in your scheduled catch-ups with your team.
S – Support
First, ask your team member some general questions to find out how they’re feeling. Ask them about what’s happening inside and outside of work, or even what they did on the weekend. While these questions might seem arbitrary, they are important as they show your employee that you genuinely care about them, as opposed to just the work they are doing.
A – Achievements
The second step is to check in on their achievements over the last week. What did they accomplish? What areas have they fallen behind in?
This part of the conversation is about holding them accountable to set outcomes but also understanding some of the challenges they’ve faced, what they’ve learned, and what you can do better to support them.
F – Focus
The third step is to discuss their focuses for the next week. Ask them about the one or two things they want to move forward that will really make a difference. Keeping in mind that these one or two things could relate to things they’re accountable for as well as areas of personal development.
Make sure you remember what you talk about here, as in your next catch up you can revisit this to check back in on progress.
E – Explore
Finally, explore if there is anything else to talk about. This is an invitation to discuss something else that might be on their mind before closing the conversation.
As you see from the framework above, a one-on-one meeting has the power to be a core vehicle for your leadership to come through. If done effectively and consistently, one-on-one meetings will give you the opportunity to inspire and challenge your people, give them feedback, seek feedback and support them with decisions.
If you’re interested in diving deeper into the power of one-on-one meetings check out our short course ‘How to have effective one-on-one meetings’ here. This course will give you access to more tools and frameworks to help you ensure every interaction with your team is setting them up for success.