When Meeting One on One, This is the Most Important Thing

What’s the most important thing for leaders to remember when it comes to having one on ones?

  • Be more interested than interesting.  Ask great questions!

I often reference and give credit to my favorite author, and in many ways, my own personal inspiration for becoming an author myself, Mark Sanborn.  In his book, The Fred Factor, he has so many actionable, yet simple nuggets.  One of them is this quote:

“Be more interested than trying to come across interesting.” – Mark Sanborn, The Fred Factor

One on One Meetings, especially with direct reports, are quite possibly the most important conversations any leader will have throughout any given week.  The reality is these are the first meetings to get moved, rescheduled, reprioritized, or even worse, canceled.  

Here are a few compelling reasons for leaders to have one on one conversations regularly:

  • Builds trust and establishes rapport
  • Shares context of the current state, future state, and your team member’s role in the show 
  • Allows us to give and receive feedback

Be more interested than interesting.  Ask great questions!  

The more we make the conversation about them – what’s on their mind, what they’re worried about, and most importantly, how we can help – the more welcome they will feel.

When they truly feel it; that feeling we all know we get when we realize our leader actually cares about us as human beings, a trusted partner, and a significant part of the team, they’ll step up, lean in, and give their absolute best.

Commit to connecting one on one on a regular basis.  You’ll see and feel the difference, and so will your team’s effort, morale, and results.