In my first years as a manager, I didn’t explain to my reports what a 1:1 meeting is for.
It seemed obvious to me. This is a common manager mistake.
We think that what’s obvious to us is obvious to others.
#Realtalk, Every:1 who reports to you has their own view of what a 1:1 meeting is, what to use it for, and how to use it well. Their previous experiences before they joined you have taught them certain expectations of a 1:1.
This sounds obvious, but needs to be said: assuming that 2 strangers ('cos that's what you are) both have the same idea about how to have 1:1s (or about anything else for that matter) is a recipe for something nasty.
❗The impact of no aligning on the purpose of a 1:1
At best, you will waste time and effort trying to have useful 1:1s when you haven’t aligned on what a successful 1:1 looks like with Every:1 you manage.
Neither of you can afford to leave the success of the most important meeting in your partnership to chance.
At worst, you'll misunderstand and frustrate each other. Distrust will breed in the dark corners of your relationship. You'll feel it in the awkwardness of every interaction until 1 of you decide to align on what's wrong.
Or 1 of you will call quits.
🖐️ In your next 1:1 Try this:
Casually slip in something like: “Hey, we’ve never spoken about this, but I’d be interested to hear what you think a 1:1 meeting is for”. If all goes according to plan, this will open a conversation where you can get on the same page about:
- What a 1:1 meeting is for: To discuss and align on issues that will increase their impact and accelerate THEIR career progress.f
- Meeting format and expectations: Time, place, frequency, agenda, rescheduling, etc.
- What a bad 1:1 meeting looks like: Signals that something is not working and needs correcting.
Give it a shot in a 1:1 this week. Let me know how it goes on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you found this useful, send it to a manager who you think could benefit 🙌🏾
You received this because you take the responsibility of managing people seriously. You subscribed to my Incomplete Manager newsletter where I share 1 thing each week that you can try immediately to level up your people management practice.
Thanks for reading this far.
Thanks for your kindness in caring about the people who spend the best hours of their day in your care.
Look after you and yours, I'll see you on April 17.
Are you still reading? Word!
P.S. If you like this newsletter and want to support it, here a 5 things way:
- Forward this newsletter to a fellow manager with an invitation to subscribe: heyfarai.com/newsletter.
- Hit reply and say hello, or ask me a question about anything.
- Hire me to speak or run a workshop.
Okay I gotta be out now, I promised my kids I'd take them to the park.