Career Advice

Mastering One-to-One Meetings: Your Roadmap to Success

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Meetings remain a vital part of many businesses, operating both remotely and within office premises. They help keep team members updated on project changes, whether in-house or external.

For clients, businesses consider meetings crucial for making initial introductions and establishing working relationships. The importance of meetings became even more pronounced when the world was gripped by a pandemic. Many businesses transitioned to remote work, a method in which many were inexperienced.

The frequency of meetings increased to maintain workflow and foster connection among team members. So, what are the most effective ways to conduct one-to-one meetings? As not all organizations have fully returned to the workplace, it’s crucial for businesses to utilize the most effective methods for holding these individual meetings this year.

Why are one-to-one meetings so important?

One-to-one meetings offer a unique, personal experience for staff members, whether interacting with a manager, a colleague, or an external client.

Often, communication is more efficient between two people compared to a larger group. These meetings serve as an effective platform for gathering feedback, particularly during annual work reviews, or for setting goals and objectives for any ongoing projects.

One-to-one meetings are more frequent than you might think, with the average professional having 5.6 one-to-one meetings a week. For managers, they’re extremely helpful for checking in on their team individually and building that relationship between themselves and the employee.

One-to-one meetings are a great way for staff members to get a more personal experience with the other person, whether that be their manager, fellow colleague, or an external client.Click To Tweet

Five ways to hold 1 on 1 meetings

When it comes to holding 1 on 1 meetings, there are good ways to go about it. In order to get the most out of these meetings, the right environment, planning, and approach are all essential for a successful discussion.

1. Set goals and objectives for the meetings prior to them.

Preparation is crucial before any meeting. Establishing goals and objectives beneficial to both participants is key. Consider what you aim to achieve in this meeting. What advancements do you hope to see as a result of these discussions?

With adequate preparation and planning, meetings gain more direction and become more fulfilling. Indeed, not all meetings prove beneficial. Considering that most employees attend approximately 62 meetings per month, half of these are often regarded as a waste of time.

Defining what you intend to achieve from the meeting can provide more structure. It ensures comprehensive coverage of all topics, rather than leaving some aspects unaddressed. Casual conversation can arise when interacting with a colleague or a client with whom you’ve developed a close working relationship.

Ultimately, these meetings should facilitate accomplishing necessary work. Numerous online tools, such as Hyper Context, can enhance your meetings’ structure. Hyper Context is a complimentary platform that enables creating and sharing meeting agendas in advance.

Additionally, this platform can be utilized for note-taking, another crucial aspect of meetings.

2. Find the right space that provides the best atmosphere for meetings.

The setting of your meetings is as crucial as the meetings themselves. While a cafe might seem a charming venue, it may not be the most suitable place for confidential discussions.

Reflect on the nature of the meeting and determine the most fitting environment. Some less formal one-to-one meetings can take place in a relaxed setting, such as during lunch.

Nonetheless, professionalism is paramount, and the chosen venue can significantly influence the meeting’s outcome and the impression it leaves on the other person. For employees, feeling respected is vital in a business setting. Given that 26% of employees report feeling undervalued, these types of meetings become crucially important.

3. Prepare the right tech for remote meetings.

While ideally, one-on-one meetings should be conducted in person, it’s not always feasible. Some businesses operate entirely remotely, making video conference calls the only viable option for meetings.

For remote meetings, having the correct technology is crucial to prevent disarray. Zoom has become a staple for many businesses conducting remote meetings when one or more colleagues are away from the office. The platform has also seen significant growth due to the pandemic.

Zoom experienced a significant surge during the pandemic, with its meeting participants increasing by an astounding 2,900%. Even though the pandemic’s intensity has somewhat leveled off, not all businesses have returned to office work, so video conferencing remains essential.

Ensure you are equipped with the necessary technology to conduct the meeting smoothly and without glitches.

4. Recognize the wins and achievements that have been made.

Another way to demonstrate respect during these meetings is to acknowledge employees’ accomplishments before the meeting. This also applies to one-on-one meetings with clients. Discuss the achievements since the last meeting and recognize significant milestones that have been reached.

Recognizing individuals contributes to employee and client satisfaction. Most of us appreciate acknowledgment from our colleagues, whether for minor achievements or major goals reached.

Providing appreciation and recognition to deserving individuals positively influences future progress. Neglecting to reward progress could potentially damage relationships and affect individuals’ perception of their roles within the company.

5. Take a record of the meeting where appropriate.

Maintaining a record of meetings, where appropriate, can be beneficial. Some might choose to video record their meetings, while others may prefer written documentation.

These records are not intended for scrutinizing the meeting’s content but for tracking progress. Every meeting should serve a purpose and drive the participants towards a shared objective.

Keeping records of one-to-one meetings allows for retrospection on past discussions and identification of potential improvements. Certain goals or objectives might not have been met, possibly due to a lack of necessary resources.

Rather than using these past meetings as opportunities to criticize the other person, employ them as a means to provide encouragement and constructive feedback.

The benefits of one-to-one meetings 

There are numerous advantages to conducting one-to-one meetings. Even if you’re already holding them, it can be beneficial to evaluate how to improve and enhance the participants’ experiences in future meetings.

If you haven’t been conducting one-to-one meetings, the following are a few benefits you can expect to reap from them.

Increases employee engagement

Employee engagement is a big one for many businesses because without that high level of productivity happening at all times, things can easily get dropped and forgotten about. These meetings are a great way to refocus and motivate your employees, helping them find love and enjoyment in what they’re doing. It’s very easy for some employees to become despondent on the job if they’re not being thought about by their peers or supervisors, for example.

Whilst these meetings might seem insignificant at times, they are majorly impactful for your workforce.

Stronger working relationships for all

Working relationships can often be neglected, especially if you’re in a role that is remote or doesn’t have much involvement with the peers around you.

Having these meetings on a regular basis can help to grow relationships between peers and those occasions where there are meetings with external clients. Taking the time to work on these relationships can build a stronger workforce as a whole and departments that click with one another, rather than be separated.

Helps encourage progress within the workplace

Progress is crucial for any business and when you’re trying to push forward with various goals for the company overall, it’s good to hold these meetings to help with that.

Holding one-to-one meetings is still vital for the growth and success of any business. Make sure you’re doing everything possible to get the best out of these meetings for both team members and external suppliers or clients.

Author Bio: Natalie Redman (LinkedIn)

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