Effective people leaders know and understand the value of regular one to one meetings with their team. Having the right conversation at the right time can increase accountability and productivity, help your team feel valued, increasing their commitment and ultimately deliver more.

    Far from a ‘soft and fluffy’ chat over a coffee, a one to one (done right) is an entirely performance driven conversation that will help you understand the context, current challenge and opportunities within your team and broad business. It is the key to unlocking performance potential on a regular basis.

    Keeping things structured and focused is the key to getting results. There are three questions that will help you

    Question #1 what have you delivered that makes you proud this month?

    Why is this a good question?

    • A positive, opening question provides a sense of forward momentum and progress
    • Gives your team member a sense of personal accomplishment.
    • Provides you with insight into your team members thinking and improvement potential
    • Helps you understand how your team member is progressing and if they are contributing in ways you need them to

    Question #2 what is not on your to do list but should be?

    Why is this a good question?

    • A favourite question of Seth Godin, this helps you to understand the unanswered questions and key challenges that are facing the team and help you get a sense of how you can help.
    • This question also puts your conversation into problem-solving mode. First, of course, you’ve got to understand the problem. Then, together you solve it. A problem-solving conversation is a productive one. You’ve gone beyond small talk and office chit chat, and you’re actually working on things that matter.
    • You get to improve processes, eliminate barriers, and enhance productivity. When you know where your team member is facing roadblocks, you can do something about it. For most challenges, there is a solution. Challenges are good things, because they make us better and help us develop.

    Question #3 what is your focus for next month and how can I help?

    Slight cheat, as this is technically two questions rolled into one, nevertheless and important one.

    Why is this a good question?

    • It allows you to wrap up the conversation, taking into account what is going well, key challenges and areas of focus highlighted in the prior two questions. Ensures there is focus on one or two key things to be delivered in the next period (and ideally this should be what they are proud of when you meet the following month)
    • Creates a shared understanding of what needs to be done differently, allows for a dynamic and flexible regular discussion rather than setting objectives at the start of every year and never looking at them again.
    • Asking ‘how can I help’ changes the dynamic in your relationship. It gives your team member the opportunity to give you some feedback and helps you understand how you can best help your team to deliver (which is your ultimate success measure)
    Conclusion

    Being an effective leader is about understanding. You won’t understand unless you listen.

    The best information to listen to is answers to the right questions.

    Questions are one of your most powerful tools. Knowing how to use them with precision will create a huge amount of value for you and your business.[vc_separator][vc_row bg_type="bg_color" bg_color_value="#f5f3f2"]

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