As we are now juggling a whole new set of surroundings and circumstances, we must indeed redefine how we work. That means, we also need to redefine how we lead others. Rather than focus on theory in this post, I want to walk you through a simple one-on-one conversation model that can help you to connect, set forward movement, and support those you lead.
This isn’t new. This isn’t surprising. This isn’t rocket science. But, this IS important and, when you do this right; you are setting yourself and those you supervise up for success.
BASICS OF ONE-ONE-ONES
- Set up a time for weekly one-on-one meetings with every person you supervise
- Never miss a session
- Focus your time on the team member
- Take notes and prioritize follow-up
- 10 Minutes for them
- 10 Minutes for you
- 10 Minutes for Career/Growth/Development
HOW DO I PREPARE
Ask yourself these simple questions:
What do my follow-up notes say I need to check on? Am I committed to following up? What notes should I make now? How might I ask that question? Am I really committed to following up?
What do I need to be sure to communicate? What behavior of his/hers am I focusing on? What projects or work am I involved in? What organizational issues/ news/efforts can I share? What meetings have I just attended and what did I learn? What are common items I need to get out to everyone – about schedules, projects, workload or our team?
What positive feedback can I give?
What corrective feedback am I going to give?
Is there something I can delegate? What project, task or work would be helpful for their development?
WHAT EFFECTIVE QUESTIONS CAN I ASK
- Tell me about your week – what’s it been like?
- Tell me about your family/weekend/activities?
- Tell me anything you stumbled over?
- Would you update me on Project X?
- Are you on track to meet the deadline?
- What questions do you have about the project?
- What areas are you ahead of schedule?
- What areas of your work are you confident about?
- What worries you?
- What suggestions do you have?
- Where do you think I can be most helpful?
- How are you going to approach this?
- What are your thoughts on my changes?
- What do you think about it?
- So, you’re going to do “x” by Tuesday, right?
- How do you think we can do this better?
- What are your future goals in this area?
- What are your plans to get there?
- What can you/we do differently next time?
- Tell me about what you’ve learned on this project?
One-on-one conversations are critical to employee development, meeting goals, and effective leadership. When team member are virtual, this is even more important. Effective one-on-ones can assure that you are supporting, encouraging and holding accountable during every interaction!
How can we help you?
P.S. This tool is one of the pieces in our Leadership Essentials Toolkit. We’ve now transitioned this whole program to virtual and are having great success in training leaders to adapt to their new models of work!