If you’re a manager or team leader, 1:1 meetings are one of the best ways to develop a strong working relationship with your direct reports, boost employee engagement and keep everyone on the team aligned and motivated.

Here are five tips for ensuring that you’re facilitating great 1:1s and making the best use of this time together.

Be Consistent

Stick to a schedule and hold your 1:1 meetings weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on the need and your other responsibilities. Avoid cancelling 1:1s since it can send the message that your reports aren’t as important as your other commitments, so don’t call them off unless you have no choice.

Co-create the Agenda

1:1 meetings are the perfect time for your team members and yourself to share ideas, concerns, and needs. Use a shared document that is mutually accessible for both you and your direct reports to set the agenda for discussion—and make sure you both contribute.

Stay on Target

An established structure will help both you and your direct reports know what to expect in this meeting. Set a pattern for every 1:1 — this may include weekly updates, obstacles and successes, short-term goals, long-term career development opportunities, and action items.

Get Curious

Prepare a set of both closed and open-ended questions (“What’s on your mind?”) and more directed inquiries (“Are you able to ask colleagues with more experience than yourself for help, support or input when it comes to achieving your goals?”) This will ease the pressure on the team member. For some ideas you may wish to refer to myprevious article, ‘5 questions that will forever change the way you leadhttps://maltaceos.mt/5-questions-that-will-forever-change-the-way-you-lead/

Listen Attentively

Don’t allow any distractions in the meeting, focus on the team member and what message they are trying to convey. During this time the team member needs to feel safe, empowered, and heard.

Reflect on the 1:1 meetings you’ve been part of. What worked? What didn’t? Which of the tips above would you most benefit from? Discuss your approach with your coach, if you have one, or with a trusted peer or friend, and decide what changes you may need to make moving forward.

Visit my page https://www.karlgrech.com/post/increasing-teams-performance-through-regular-1-1s  for further insight and to download my manager 1:1 meeting cheat sheet.

Karl Grech coaches mid to senior leaders to inspire, motivate & engage their team. He supports people to gain confidence in their leadership role and helps overcome challenging situations. Karl is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He can be reached at [email protected] or visit www.karlgrech.com  to learn more.

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