The Best Way to Conduct One-on-One Meetings

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“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a moulder of consensus.” – ­ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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A great manager should be able to communicate effectively with their team, one of the best ways to do this is through one-to-one meetings.

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Whether it’s setting targets, evaluating performance or simply having a catch up - these meetings can have a big impact on your team and its goals.

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01 HAVE AN AGENDA It’s important to have a good idea of what you want to be discussing before you go into the meeting, that way you stay focussed and on track. Make sure your team member has plenty of notice so they can think of ideas that they would like to discuss too.

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01 HAVE AN AGENDA Try emailing before the meeting and opening a dialogue for the agenda. Bounce ideas around and make it feel like a collaboration rather than a one way street.

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02 PREPARE Before the meeting, it’s good to be fully up to speed on your team member’s performance and where they are with their goals. But it’s also important to make sure you know how they are feeling towards their goals and how they see their progress.

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02 PREPARE Ensure you refer to the notes from your last meeting so you can reference what has previously been said - this way you can work together to move forward.

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03 KEEP TO THE POINT Nobody likes wasting time, so it’s important that you are as efficient as possible when it comes to your meetings. If there is something you feel is an issue but it hasn’t been raised yet, address the topic directly with a mind to finding a solution as quickly as possible.

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03 KEEP TO THE POINT Try to stick to the agenda and not get distracted, but at the same time factor-in some flexibility. This is why it is important to prepare fully before the meeting.

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04 FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES To ensure that a meeting is constructive aviod focusing solely on the negatives. It’s important to stay positive even if mistakes have been made. Even in the face of failure it’s important to be constructive in order to find a solution.

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04 FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES When talking about a missed target, try asking ‘what learning oppertunities can we take from this?’ or ‘what can we do differently to avoid this in the future?’

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05 FOLLOW UP IN WRITING Whether the purpose of your meeting was to set goals or track progress, it’s a good idea to follow up in writing to ensure outcomes are agreed upon. This way you both have a clear idea what you should be doing moving forward as well as a good reference point for the next meeting you have.

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05 FOLLOW UP IN WRITING It’s common to follow up in writing via email, but use whatever method you feel is best suited to your workplace.

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06 MAINTAIN A DIALOGUE Even if a meeting goes very well, it is likely that what was discussed will be forgotten in time this is why regular meetings are vital. However, it is also important to maintain an open dialogue between manager and team member after the meeting to keep ideas fresh in the mind of you both.

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06 MAINTAIN A DIALOGUE Try setting out a few minutes each week to discuss the ideas from the meeting in a relaxed setting - this helps to reinforce the message and any actions taken.

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