Every employee or person I have worked with loves the opportunity to have a one on one with their boss if they are done right.   Every person loves to be listened to, coached effectively and assisted to learn, grow and develop.

However, the reality is that these are not done well by managers and bosses.  They tend to be telling exercises, directing their staff consultants what to do and explaining how to do it.  They are generally a one way engagement where the boss leaves thinking that it went well and the employee being disengaged by the whole exercise.

There is a better way.  One that focuses more on the one on ones being the catalyst towards staff engagement, high performance and outstanding business outcomes.  For this to occur there is a need to really align on expectations on what makes them successful for managers, staff and the consulting business.

An effective one on one is a two way exchange.   Further to this, they are largely driven by employees that are focussed on wanting to be developed and grow through positive and challenging interactions that is a good one on one.  Some of the key elements of setting up and running a successful one on one include:

  • The one on one is organised and locked in the calendar by the staff member.  This sets the expectation that it is driven and owned by them;
  • They need to be regular at least fortnightly in terms of frequency;
  • There is an agenda of items that are normally covered that allow for flexibility depending on where the focus needs to be at a point in time;
  • They need to be planned well from both sides.  That is, a good session has plenty of interaction around challenges, items to be coached on as well as a strong focus on identifying solutions;
  • They are set up to provide and receive feedback.  This not only drives engagement but also a strong focus on improvement from both sides;
  • They are also a good upward and downward communication medium where the  exchange of information and ideas flows rather than falters; and
  • Good one on ones end with a recap of actions agreed by who, why and when.

They are an accountability tool in their purest form.  Double loop accountability on both sides to ensure engagement, dialogue and a focus on moving forward. Both as individuals and also for the organisation.

Set your one on ones up the right way and watch your staff engagement rise.  Your consulting business will be better for it along with ensuring that your staff come prepared with solutions rather than sitting back waiting to be told what to do.

download the : Coaching and Development – One on One Session Template

Our people package on our easyconsult website has a terrific range of tools to assist with staff engagement.  To see our example one on one template, please click here.