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  • Writer's pictureYas Longoria

Conducting Productive and Effective 1:1 Meetings

The Employee-Centric Approach

Recognize that 1:1 meetings are primarily for employees to address pressing issues, share ideas, and voice concerns that can't be captured in status reports or emails.

Ongoing Communication

1:1 meetings are essential for ongoing communication and feedback, allowing for the early correction of minor errors, goal alignment, and disaster prevention.

Building Strong Teams

Regular 1:1s promote team cohesion by fostering relationships, resolving issues as they arise, and improving overall team performance.

Key Principles for Productive and Effective 1:1 Meetings

Always Keep the Meeting

Ensure that 1:1 meetings are a consistent priority, reschedule if necessary, and apologize when rescheduling is unavoidable.

Let the Employee Create and Run the Meeting

Empower employees to set the meeting agenda, making them active participants and demonstrating your commitment to their needs.

Make It About More Than Status

Avoid redundant status updates by focusing on employee growth, discussing big-picture topics, building trust, and addressing career development.

Ask, Don’t Tell

Listen actively and use questions to guide the conversation, empowering your employees to find answers and addressing gaps in their knowledge.

Reserve At Least 30 Minutes

Allocate ample time for each 1:1, regardless of how the conversation begins, and avoid watching the clock. Place all apps in a 'Do Not Disturb' status to prevent unnecessary interruptions.

Make Time for Personal and Work Topics

Start with a genuine inquiry about their well-being and show interest in their personal life to deepen relationships and build trust.

Do “Big-Picture” Regularly

Regularly discuss career goals, assess job satisfaction, and provide feedback to help employees develop their skills and achieve their aspirations. My recommendation is to have this chat quarterly.

Don’t Use the 1:1 to Clear Your To-Do List

Avoid overwhelming employees with additional work during the meeting; focus on listening and supporting their needs. You want to ensure the employee gets value from these meetings, and you want it to be productive and effective; that can only happen when the employee feels safe.

Assess Their Reactions and Moods

Evaluate the employee's mood and engagement at the end of each meeting to improve the quality of future interactions.

Follow-Up Promptly

Address any outstanding questions or issues the same day or within the week, ensuring a productive and ongoing conversation.

By adhering to these principles, you will conduct more effective 1:1 meetings that benefit your team and your organization.

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