A good one on one

Good managers know it’s important to regularly check in with each of their employees, but too often one-on-one meetings feel hurried and disorganized. To make the most of these meetings be more deliberate about how you structure them. First, schedule them. It doesn’t matter how often they occur — every week, every other, or once a month — but they should be repeating events on your calendar. And honor these time slots. Don’t get in the habit of canceling, which signals to your employee that you don’t value her time. Make sure there’s an agenda. Ask your direct report for a synopsis of what she’d like to talk about before the meeting. You should do the same for her. When in the room together, be present. Turn off your phone; close your office door. Start the meeting by complimenting your colleague on something she does well. Then, be curious. Listen to your colleague’s concerns and provide feedback and ideas on how she might solve problems. Always close the meeting with a note of appreciation, too. Words of affirmation can mean a lot.

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