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Effective One-on-One Meetings: A Tool to Improve Employee Effectiveness

One of the most important leadership qualities is the ability to hold effective one-on-one meetings with a team member. It is critical that the manager and the team member are aligned on the business priorities and the relative weight of those priorities.

As I led larger groups of people, I realized that it was a challenge to obtain alignment on the top priorities up and down the organization. I realized that the key to obtaining this alignment was effective one-on-one meetings. These meetings could serve as continuous checkpoints to make sure everyone was working on the right things. When I met with managers, I asked them how they made sure that everyone was working on the right set of business priorities. Most of them did not have a good answer to the question.

One-on-One Worksheet

The Manager / Team Member Worksheet (aka One-on-One Worksheet) is a great way to obtain alignment and improve the effectiveness of one-on-one meetings with team members. The team member is responsible for maintaining the content of the worksheet and making sure it details all the things they are working on. They should also use the worksheet to document the discussion topics that are important to them.

The sections of the worksheet include:

Effective One-on-One Meetings

Priorities – Alignment on the top three priorities that the team member is working on. The manager can now validate that these are the right ones, change the order or add new ones to ensure alignment. It also allows for “emerging priorities,” which are just over the horizon and may eventually move up to the top three.

Discussion Items – Team members need some time with their leader to discuss topics that are important to them. These topics might include personal, other work-related items, or a discussion on developmental topics.

Manager Feedback – It is important for the manager and the team member to discuss team member performance throughout the year. Discussing performance during the one-on-one meetings eliminates the surprise and the misalignment that often occurs at the end of the performance review cycle. It also offers an opportunity for the team member to course-correct or reinforce the current course.

Action Item List – It is important to keeping track of action items that arise from the meetings. It is also important to review the action items during each meeting to make sure there is progress and that actions are still valid.

Notes – Any other topics of discussion.

Being diligent about using the worksheet is critical to sustaining effective Manager / Team Member meetings. Leveraging the worksheet for effective one-on-one meetings has had positive results for me in the past. I trust it will help bring alignment and make one-on-one meetings more effective for you. Click the button below to download the PDF version.

Download Worksheet

If you wish to have a copy of the Microsoft Word document, you may request it by sending me a message from the Contact Me page.

I hope this article has been useful. Please drop me a note in the comment section below, or privately through the Contact Me page if you have any questions, comments or ideas that could be helpful to others.


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© 2018 T. Kahler Coaching

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