Perhaps you think you know all about one-on-one meetings, but it never hurts to dig deeper into the subject.
In today’s business and work culture, communication and professional relationships are everything. We can even take a step further stating that without them, any business would probably be doomed and undoubtedly unsuccessful.
When you come to think about it, it’s completely logical – being successful at what you do for a living oftentimes is closely connected to your relationship and communication with others. Even if you’re not in an office space daily, you still need to talk to people and share ideas, opinions, and suggestions and generally put your mindset out there for your peers.
Without proper communication, teams are far more likely to misinterpret a huge part of what others mean or do. That’s definitely something no business owner wishes for when it comes to their employees and the work environment in general.
So today we are referring to one-on-one meetings. Of course, all sorts of team gatherings are incredibly fruitful and useful in terms of establishing excellent communication but those are events that are more dedicated to work-related issues and matters. What’s important here is for business owners not to forget that there should be a vast separation between work-related team gatherings and one-on-one meetings. Once you let your employees think they don’t matter, you’d be experiencing a tremendous downfall.
What makes one-on-one meetings so important in the bigger specter of work things?
Numerous times I’ve mentioned the importance of a single employee. Sure, we view them as “the team” – the group of people responsible for that crucial project’s success. But what we often miss is that a team consists of, essentially, team members, and each and every one of them is equally as important.
So what’s important here is for the business owner to actually find a way in which to showcase their appreciation, support, care, and gratefulness to their employees.
At first, we may think that monetary bonuses and praise for a job well-done is more than enough, but is it really? Think about it – if we all cherish communication so much, then why do we assume employees wouldn’t be cherishing it too?
When engaging in a one-on-one meeting with a fellow employee, we give them our time, attention, and support. I can guarantee that those are equally as important as all other types of bonuses and mood boosters.
Once we’ve realized the importance of a one-on-one meeting, now it’s time to ask ourselves whether we are really capable to grasp the entire concept. If you consider this type of meeting as just the next work-related scheduled thing, then I have bad news for you – if you wish for the one-on-one to be truly successful for both sides, you need to quickly escape the boss-employee specter of communication.
What should a meeting with an employee look like?
We’ve already established that communication is key. So it’s only logical for the meeting to be situated around just that.
Even though that’s more than clear, I still witness some common misconceptions that circle around the one-on-one meetings.
Many CEOs and bosses out there either miss them altogether or simply believe they should be the ones setting the tone. Both ideas couldn’t be any further from the truth. A friendly reminder here – the one-on-one meeting is all about the employee, not about the boss’s next big plan for company growth. Save the latter for the team meetings.
Without any further ado, let’s discuss some aspects of the truly successful one-on-one. I hope they’d give you a great advantage the next time around.
- Let your employee set the tone. I’ve mentioned already that the successful one-on-one meeting is the one for which the employee chooses what to talk about. Remember that in the best-case scenario, a one-on-one should focus on the employee’s struggles, aspirations, and need for support or guidelines. They might even need to share personal obstacles and problems they witness in their life that make an impact on their professional life as well. Whatever the topic is, you should let your employee pick it and dedicate your entire attention and energy to practicing active listening.
- Be frequent. Engaging in just one one-on-one session per year is definitely not enough. Consistency and frequency are keys here. But beware – you shouldn’t also step the boundaries of people – you better ask them what pace is convenient and comforting to them. From then on, try to be as consistent as possible when engaging in one-on-ones – this shows your employees that you care and that you deeply value their well-being.
- Listen carefully but also participate in the conversation actively. You shouldn’t perceive a one-on-one meeting as a session where you’re supposed to listen only. Instead, ask questions, offer opinions, and always show a willingness to help. Each communication that is two-sided is beneficial and successful in the whole specter of building relationships.
Engaging in one-on-one meetings is more important than you think – it’s definitely worth your time and energy. Throughout the session, you have the chance to show your employees you care and to really listen to what they have to say. This way you can come up with ways how to further develop and improve the overall work processes in the company for the time being. Besides, your employees would feel heard and seen – and that’s something money definitely cannot buy.