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8 key points to boost your 1:1 meetings

When outlining the most relevant activities to enforce in every organization, continuous improvement stands out among the main ones. Currently, competition does not take place only at a national level. Limiting to a small portion of the market and ignoring what happens in the rest of the world is a luxury with serious implications for companies. But when interacting globally, how can companies attain significant improvement to become competitive? There are several methods. Even though no magic formula for success exists, it is crucial for continuous improvement plans to include the company’s main resource: its employees.

One of the simplest and most effective teamwork tools are 1:1s, since, if implemented correctly, they allow boosting employees capabilities, regardless of their functions.
Although there may be many ways and steps that we can abide by, team leaders can follow 8 key points to consider during a 1:1:

  1. Creating a trust bond within your team. This will ease up the interaction and improve the receiver’s willingness for feedback. It must be clear that both are on the same side and in the seek of the same goal.
  2. Understanding what type of 1:1 is to be done. The intention may be to reinforce positive behavior or to correct unwanted behavior. Although they are all directed to continuous improvement, not all are approached in the same manner.
  3. Choosing the ideal moment and conditions. It is important to be aware of any particular situation for the feedback giver and receiver. Sometimes minutes and small details make a big difference.
  4. Knowing the receiver. A leader adapts to their team and not the opposite. This is key for understanding how to develop the 1:1 with the collaborator. The relation cannot be lineal and the givers cannot expect everyone to understand through the same method. They should adjust content, tone, duration and expectations according to the audience.
  5. Having a script. Improvising may cause the omission of important information, causing miscommunications and possibly losing credibility for the receiver.
  6. Staying objective. In addition to being punctual, the person providing feedback must give detailed and clear explanations of the consequences and causes. Avoid going around the bushes and losing track of the main point.
  7. Keeping a positive tone. Blaming the collaborators over their mistakes will only make them attacked, and as a result turn defensive, which will make it harder to get the message across.
  8. Establishing agreements and engagements. If no agreements or engagements are accomplished during the 1:1, there will hardly be any agreement. People should set a North, agree on deadlines, methods, tools and other details that allow for a correct follow-up, with the purpose of avoiding just a casual conversation.

Words bring about changes, for better or for worse. Therefore, being prepared for different situations helps with the success of team management. A team motivated with the appropriate feedback will improve and benefit the whole company.

The most successful leaders know that 1:1s are great allies. Each collaborator needs and thanks that space. It is not the only one but the organization makes it happen.


Author: David Santamaría Fernández

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