How TeamLeaders can get the best out of One-on-Ones
One-on-Ones are one of your most important tools: They serve not only to improve productivity in your team, but also to foster open communication and show your Teammates how much you genuinely care about their opinions and well-being.
Though we can maintain an informal and relaxed attitude during the conversation, it is important to be well prepared in advance. Here are some tips to help you make every One-on-Ones an opportunity to dive deeper into the specific situation of your team.
Block regular time in your schedule
The frequency with which you have One-on-Ones will vary depending on the size of your team. The most important thing is that these meetings are recurrent and that you and your team schedule them in your calendar as a repeating event. Since every team is unique, we suggest you experiment with frequency until you find the rhythm that works best for you.
Prepare discussion points
We recommend that both TeamLeader and Teammate jot down a list of bullet points you’d like to discuss. Once you’re face-to-face, compare both lists and agree on the most pressing points. If the conversation diverges, it is the Leader’s responsibility to get it back on track. However, it is also important to be flexible if an unexpected topic that seems important for your Teammate arises.
Be fully present
Productive One-on-Ones require all the skills implied in active listening: especially being fully present. Think of this interaction as a precious moment of connection and a fantastic opportunity to know more about the person. Turn off your phone and mute your computer so as not to risk being distracted by pings or rings.
We suggest beginning the meeting by sharing something positive. You might, for instance, compliment your colleague on a presentation she gave or how she handled a specific challenge. This will create positive energy and relax your Teammate.
One-on-one meetings are good venues to take on big strategic questions and problem solve. You might like to ask your Teammate to list some of the challenges they are facing along with potential solutions in advance of their meetings. This fosters the Teammate’s sense of responsibility. In the meeting, the leader can offer constructive feedback on the suggestions.
Close the meeting as you began it — with positivity. End the meeting with a note of appreciation and gratitude. Say something like “Thank you for your time and preparation” or “it has been interesting to know your opinions and ideas”.
Use the data displayed in TeamEQ
Before starting your One-on-Ones, it is important to have a clear picture of the situation of your Team. With TeamEQ you can check which variables have increased or decreased, take a look at the TeamHealth Index to discover the overall picture, or see if there have been any new public or private messages sent to you on your message board. Thanks to TeamEQ’s real-time data on your team you’ll always be ready to get the most out of your One-on-Ones with every Teammate.
Want to know more how TeamEQ can support you to become a better Leader? Take a free trial here.