2 min read

How To Get the Most Out of 1on1 Meetings?

Two young businesswomen having a meeting in the office sitting at a desk having a discussion with focus to a young woman wearing glasses

Ever get the feeling you don’t know what everyone on your team is working on exactly? Now with co-workers working from home, keeping up with the status of projects or goals can be challenging.

Here are some tips I have used to help make the most out of 1on1 meetings with my team.

  1. Try creating a task board or document for the meetings with each person on your team. Share the link to the online document so both of you have access to it. Encourage team members to add questions, concerns, and status updates of previously requested tasks/projects and add them yourself. Whether you are meeting weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, the notes made here should be dated and moved along after discussion.
  2. Maintain a basic agenda for your meetings that includes personal and work updates, ideas for past or upcoming projects, updates to current assignments, action items, and the items best saved for a later discussion.
  3. Meet consistently with team members at regular intervals. Meetings may not always be possible to keep but if they are on the calendar, it leaves less room for long periods of time without a meeting at all. Keep the meetings short. Thirty minutes is all that is needed to catch up with each other. Utilize times when there are no updates on work projects to ask how their lives are going and find out what is important to them.
  4. Ask them about any recent events in their lives, their family, or their interests. You can learn a lot about what is important to them by listening to and observing their values. Encouraging them in times of struggle or celebrating their accomplishments can be a wonderful opportunity to bond with a co-worker. How else will you help them grow personally and professionally unless you know more about what is important to them and what they need to be happy?
  5. When the conversation transitions to work, it is easier to assess their work/life balance, capacity, stress levels, and any challenges they are currently facing. A caring and respectful leader is open to listening and helping provide solutions. People know when you are not invested in their outcomes. They need guidance and support to progress and overcome obstacles. Offering them direction or resources to find their way means being a trusted advisor and mentor.

Would you rather be a mentor or a boss? One is a trusted advisor and the other is a person in charge of a worker, group, or company. The connotation is that a boss would be bossy or domineering. While a leader is someone who guides others in different matters.

Anyone can be a boss but not everyone is a leader. Anyone can become a leader, but it must be an intentional, genuine, and continually growing process.  You can be the person others look to for guidance. A boss can explain expectations and delineate tasks, but a leader can inspire, motivate, and help others achieve greatness. Every team has a boss but not all teams have leaders.

If you want to learn the traits of a leader, I would encourage you to read “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" by John Maxwell.

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