Stephanie Soler shares professional coaching tips on how to manage a one-on-one session that yields results.
Having regular 1:1 meetings with direct reports has become standard practice for managers. In reality, the quality of these meetings vary. At their worst, 1:1s are bland status updates and a waste of time. At their best, 1:1s are powerful coaching interactions that set your direct reports up for success.
There’s no single recipe for a great 1:1. Each direct report is different, and you need to manage different people differently. That said, there are four essential ingredients to a great Use your judgment to add the right ingredient at the right moment
Connect. Build rapport so your direct feels safe to tell you what’s really going on. In the context of a 1:1, this means being fully present. Put your devices away. Make eye contact. Ask and reveal appropriate personal information. Create a safe and trusting environment
Inquire. Ask powerful questions to build mutual understanding. Resist the urge to ask leading questions with a “right” answer in mind. To generate real insight, ask questions with genuine curiosity. What are the priorities? What are the challenges? What is your direct doing or not doing? What is the impact? What does success look like? What’s getting in the way? In addition to hearing the answers, pay attention to facial expression, body language, and vocal intonation that can reveal even more about how your direct is feeling. Your goal is to uncover information you don’t already know
Offer. Provide observations, feedback, guidance, and/or support that can help. Once you’ve uncovered what your direct may need to be successful, offer it! Depending on the context, this can mean different things. Perhaps your direct has a confidence issue and needs a pep talk. Or he has a major blind spot and needs some direct, constructive feedback. He may simply need a piece of expertise that you can provide. Or there may be something blocking him that you can help unblock.
Key points include:
- Opening the meeting
- Building connection
- Checking expectations
Read the full article, 4 Ingredients of a Great 1:1, on LinkedIn.