“Canceling our 1-on-1. Nothing for us to discuss this week.”
Direct report meetings can't always be protected, but when they’re inconsistent, or worse - cancelled three weeks in a row, what's the message?
Instead, focus on quality interactions with these 3 approaches:
1. Seek Connection.
Use this time to understand how things are truly going at work and beyond. People want a leader who genuinely cares about them – something you can demonstrate by inquiring about recent work they’re proud of, challenging obstacles, etc.
2. Less Talking. More Listening.
Most of us are terrible listeners. Work on actively hearing experiences, ideas and perspectives (even if you disagree), and don’t jump in too quickly with answers and direction. Push for solutions and thinking, while giving more airtime.
3. Stop Owning The Meeting.
You're the boss, but this is her/his uninterrupted time. Put the onus on your people to drive the agenda and discussion, including the right to cancel or postpone.
Lastly, know that you don’t need to have all the answers – in fact, sometimes it’s better that you don’t. Ask your people how to make these meetings as productive and valuable as possible. Their answers might surprise you.
How are you getting the most from your 1-on-1 meetings?