Why am I here?
The most powerful tool in your management toolbox is the one-on-one meeting. Just you, your direct report, and twenty minutes of uninterrupted time focused on a single point of performance. A critical conversation.
So why aren't one-on-one meetings more common?
Too busy? Too many direct reports? Too much information to cover? Already having a staff meeting? Too many meetings as it is? You see them every day?
Those are all excuses. The real reasons focused one-on-ones don't happen are deeper and more human. From the perspective of your direct report, if you call a one-on-one meeting with them today, they will be concerned. If you schedule a one-on-one for a week from now, they'll worry themselves sick. This is especially true if you tell them the meeting is to offer performance feedback. From the manager's perspective, one-on-ones historically deteriorate into carp and grumble sessions that go well over twenty minutes. Who needs that?
The meetings get pushed off and ignored. Unfortunately, one-on-ones are like sleep and once you've missed an opportunity to coach, you can't get it back. Semi-annual or annual reviews take their place, and the pace of your people's personal growth slows.
Here's my advice. Write this on a card and leave it on your desk.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Get ahead of the problem by learning a few strategies and tactics behind effective one-on-ones.
If you need help, give me a call. I have a process that will help.