1-on-1’s are valuable opportunities for leaders to develop their teams and to surface issues that need to be dealt with. You can create effective 1-on-1s if you avoid these common mistakes:
- Conducting 1-on-1s only when there’s a problem. Great managers don’t respond to trouble, they prevent it through regular 1-on-1s.
- Setting the agenda. Resist taking charge and instead, invite team members to help create the agenda.
- Canceling. Nothing says “I don’t care” like canceling a 1-on-1. While the 1-on-1 may last in a string of meetings, but your direct report may have been waiting a week to get access to you and raise an important concern. Not far behind is being chronically late for the 1-on-1.
- Talking too much. Plan to speak about 20% of the time--preferably to ask questions.
- Never or rarely giving feedback. Most people want to know how their manager thinks they’re doing. Provide a steady dose of reinforcing and redirecting feedback.
1-on-1s are all about helping your people develop. Remember, the most effective 1-on-1s are their meetings, not yours.
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