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Top 6 mistakes managers make during 1-on-1 meetings | peopleHum
Leadership Development

Top 6 mistakes managers make during 1-on-1 meetings

HR blogs
Nirvi B
September 17, 2021
Human Resource Management Platform

A manager is perceived as someone who’s a bit tricky, direct and confident. A good manager might agree - it’s sort of relieving to hear your employee’s opinions on a matter. 1-on-1 meetings, probably the best way to campaign.

“90 minutes of your time can enhance the quality of your subordinate’s work for 2 weeks, or for some 80+ hours” says Andy Grove, former CEO & co-founder of Intel.

Yet, there are chances where managers might possibly get off on the wrong foot with this.

Common mistakes managers make during 1-on-1 meetings

6 mistakes managers make during  1 on 1 meetings | peopleHum

1) Turning 1-on-1 meetings into status reports

1-on-1's sets a forum for coaching, mentoring, and even venting. "What's the progress on ‘ABC’?" is among the most typical 1-on-1 questions. Even though it appears to be a reasonable question, you must decide against it. If your employees had to merely give you updates on reports, growth chart and status of a project, it could've been emailed to you.

The goal of one-on-one meetings is to discuss and realize how your employees are hanging in, unlike status updates. Some of the areas you may discuss are team dynamics, overall engagement, challenges, career goals and ambitions, employee feedback, requests, so on and so forth.

2) Not preparing the meeting agenda well in advance

As per a report on Know Your Team, 36% of employees believe their manager is only "slightly prepared," while 40% believe their manager is "not prepared at all.” Even though the goal of 1-on-1s is to go beyond professional issues - without a clear agenda, the value of a discussion will suffer. It might simply become just another meeting in your day if you don't have the right framework and agenda for the meeting.

Workplace stress and time limits frequently get the best of us. But a well-planned agenda is achievable if you’re prepared with at least a list of bullet topics that you'd like to discuss.

3) Doing most of the talking

“During the meeting, since it’s the employee’s meeting, the manager should do 10% of the talking and 90% of the listening. Note that this is the opposite of most one-on-ones,” says the author Ben Horowitz.

Active Listening

Margaret Moore, CEO of Wellcoaches Corporation, says having an efficient one-on-one meeting "requires real cognitive agility," Likewise, it's critical to tune your approach. Your motive is not to start or delegate new projects, defend decisions, or advocate for the team's vision – it’s to figure out where your direct report is.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure your direct reports are speaking the most:

  • Encourage employees to prepare particular discussion points.
  • Suggest some questions to get people thinking on those deeper themes.
  • Bring their points to the front of the meeting's agenda (so they kick-start the conversation).

1-on-1s display how you value and recognize your employees from a rapport standpoint. It’s also a manager's responsibility to bring the discussion back on course whenever it deviates.

4) Not being mentally present

6 mistakes managers make during 1-on-1 meetings

The purpose of planning a 1-on-1 is to have a valuable, richest type of communication. Distractions must be kept to a bare minimum by the managers, and even the team. Peering into the phone or checking e-mails during a meeting will sap your team's motivation. Coming prepared, shutting off notifications on your phone, starting on time, and attentively listening, all contribute to being more actively present in 1-on-1 meetings.

5) Inviting hurry, rescheduling, or cancelling

1-on-1 meetings are frequently more rushed and disorderly than they need to be. When you engage with someone 1-on-1, you get a sense of their ongoing duties and the red flags for the time they start to waver. If you postpone or cancel the meeting, you will miss out on that portion of the pulse.

Additionally, cancelling a 15–30-minute conversation might send a message to your direct report that they're not a priority. It might also reach a point where you find your employees communicating in a less effective manner, such as crowding your inbox or lingering around your desk.

6) Not planning 1-on-1 meetings as a regular event

When you constantly perform something, it demonstrates that you value it. Taking some time to free up time may sound paradoxical, but that is exactly what 1-on-1s can do. Spending a few minutes coaching your staff lets you focus on your duties without worrying about putting out flames later.

Employees whose managers meet with them on a regular basis are nearly three times as likely to be engaged as employees whose managers do not meet with them on a regular basis, according to Gallup. It doesn't concern how often they happen, but there’s a need to place 1-on-1 meetings on your calendar as a recurring event.

Settling the matter

Feel free to get out of the office for a walk or a cup of coffee if you don't want your 1-on-1 meetings be limited to a conference room. Place yourself in the framework of human compassion. Ask employees where they are stuck to address their concerns. Pay attention to their responses and assist them in turning them into a learning opportunity.

peopleHum's effective performance management system comes with a unique 1-on-feature that provides rapid and consistent feedback, and fosters clear communication. Along with automating your review cycle, our portal allows you to add shared or private remarks.

A tool to assign actions to your employees, within your 1-on-1 meetings, bridges the unfulfilling gaps related to performance management. Additionally, you may also track your previous sessions while recording the ones you wish.

Come leverage automation to grow organizational value with enhanced performance management solution. Hear out our story to know more.

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October 25, 2021

A very inspiring list. Thanks for putting this together


October 25, 2021

This is such a great list of women leaders! More power to you all