Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

One-on-ones with employees can be powerful, especially if you stick to the plan.

I’ve seen clients experience some pretty cool results from holding one-on-ones with their direct reports consistently—whether they are weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Whether the meetings are meant to exchange regular updates on a project, or to offer an employee the opportunity to share successes or ask for specific assistance or support, these brief but dependable meetings can be very powerful. Regular focused meetings with individual employees build rapport and provide great and real-time coaching opportunities. And, they provide the leader with a better handle on departmental and/or organizational successes and challenges.

From my experience, I’ll offer a couple of additional tidbits that may help. —One of the most crucial components of an effective one-on-one is stating and then sticking to the objective of the meeting. As an example, if the objective is to share on-going updates on a project, and you become aware of a significant problem with an individual’s performance, I’m recommending that you schedule a separate meeting to have the performance discussion. This approach will sustain the integrity of both meetings.

So if it’s been a while since the individuals on your team have had your full attention, you may want to let them know you’re going to be in touch with each of them to create a schedule for regular one-on-ones. Establish the objective and timeline, stick to the plan, and enjoy the results.


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