High-Value 1-on-1 Conversations

Habits make a significant difference in leadership effectiveness.

One great habit you can develop as a leader is to have regular 1-on-1 sessions with direct reports. These sessions need to be high-structure and high-value.

Goals of high-structure:

High-structure means consistently scheduled and well-organized.

In an ideal world, you would talk daily with every person who reports to you. Busy schedules don’t always make this realistic. Make time to connect with your employees. At a minimum, dedicate 30-minutes weekly with each direct report at a predetermined time. My personal recommendation is Monday morning. Have a simple yet consistent format. For example:

Prepare each person to discuss:

  • Highlights from last week
  • Focus for this week
  • Issues/challenges that require support

Customize as appropriate. A tight agenda ensures everything of importance can be covered in 30-minutes. Chit-chat only after the important stuff is covered.

Establishing a consistent structure increases efficiency, productivity, and personal development. As the leader, high-structure is your responsibility.

Goals of high-value:

High-value means focused and relevant content, specific to the person and situation.

Each discussion should review what’s currently effective, non-effective and somewhere in between. Ask clarifying questions that develop critical thinking skills: “In your opinion, what needs to be done? What next steps do you envision, and why? What support do you need from me?”

Listen and learn what your employees are bringing to you from the front lines.

Strategize together. Anticipate obstacles together. Develop contingency plans together.

Every person is different. Focus on concrete actions within the control of the individual employee. Reinforce habits that accelerate progress. Provide candid feedback, support, and guidance. Serve your team. Empower your team. Coach your team. That’s high-value!

High-structure, high-value meetings build deeper relationships and make everyone more efficient.

Want help customizing your approach? Contact me and we can schedule time.