What Makes One-on-One Meetings Productive, Engaging, and Motivating

One-on-one meetings are the soul of any startup. In essence, they’re a superlative form of supervisor-employee connection. And without a doubt, they are very advantageous. To list, they connect, inspire, motivate, boost communications, and enhance cooperation.

What Makes One-on-One Meetings Productive, Engaging, and Motivating

Moreover, one-on-one meetings are a great tool for teamwork. Add to this how effective they are with reporting. At the same time, they’re a valuable instrument for developing team trust. And they are great for tackling micro-goals. Hence, it makes sense to at least explore one-on-one meetings and why you should have more.

One-on-one meetings vs. regular meetings

It’s important to realize that one-on-one meetings are not really meetings. In fact, it’s perhaps not even fair to call them meetings. After all, most regular meetings are boring, time-wasting, and harmful to productivity. Without a doubt, cutting down on regular meetings is a good idea. Replacing them with virtual meetings is even a better idea.

One-on-one meetings are, chiefly, a way to come together and synergize. And they shine for all the same reasons that regular meetings are a plague. For further reference, we did cover regular meetings before and prepared an ultimate guide on how to run them.

What’s important to realize is that one-on-one meetings are different and, in many ways, better:

  1. You don’t have some people dominating the team conversation. It’s just you and the manager.
  2. You don’t have to tune in to things that don’t concern you and spend off your energy and focus. Everything about the one-on-one revolves around you.
  3. The focus is on what matters for your work.
  4. The meetings is 100% engaging. You’re either talking or listening. No need to tune out and just wait for everything to be over like in regular meetings.

Being in a relaxed and peaceful environment ensures you can process more information. You can take on greater cognitive loads and be more creative. Why? Because it’s the perfect setting for creating psychological safety.

To be sure, there is no good reason for canceling a one-on-one meeting. However you might try to use the next best thing to discuss one on one.

One-on-one meetings are effective and personal

The optimal duration of one-on-one meetings is about an hour. There are many things two people can share within one hour. But it’s the nature of this interaction that truly makes it effective.

One-on-one meetings are, in a sense, mentoring. You are effectively developing and educating. In either capacity. As a supervisor, you can see the most relevant details come to life. Processes are explained, dilemmas are presented. In effect, you share the burden of decision making because your meeting partner is, contextually, the expert.

On the other hand, you can learn a lot from your supervisor. From how your meeting is structured to how the decision-making takes place. You get to understand, in a calm and relaxed environment, how stuff is done. In essence, it’s mediating leadership.

How one-on-one meetings increase engagement

This should be obvious. There are only two people, meeting for the purpose of effective communication. There is no way for either of them to tune out. In fact, what you get is a boost in communication.

Meeting engagement has direct consequences in the long-term. And it works at all levels. Take this study on one-on-one tutoring for elementary students. The one-on-one component proved dramatically important in overall performance. To put it another way, one-on-one works wonders. And this happened with basic reading sessions. Imagine what it means to take this at a professional level.

In truth, continuance matters far more than organizing them as one-on-one. That’s because routines save us energy and maximize work time. And that’s one of the reasons why you should never cancel out a one-on-one.

How one-on-one meetings motivate and inspire resilience

The main reason why one-on-one meetings are motivating is that employees get the right message. It’s the fact that managers care to make employees a priority. And that they care to offer feedback. Or a performance review in one way or another. Showing interest on both accounts can improve team trust and foster intrinsic motivation.

This study points out to a great strategy for one-on-one:

  1. You forge a partnership by meeting one-on-one.
  2. You inspire commitment. And you clearly make people accountable by going one-on-one.
  3. Truly encourage employee development with regards to skills. By giving feedback, you encourage positive change. In essence, you motivate that change.
  4. You promote persistence and shape the environment.

But let’s be fair. Promoting persistence is the same thing as saying that you’re developing resilience. After all, resilience is persistence. As for shaping the environment, that’s the final contribution of any manager. It is, by all means, contributing to the company culture.

One-on-one meetings allow you to listen, delegate, and grow

Feedback is a great opportunity to listen. So is reporting. So are, in fact, many other things that can happen in one-on-one meetings.

Moreover, consider introverts. In a typical meeting, introverts would not fare so well. In a one-on-one meeting, however, introverts have all the space they need.

Sure, you need to learn how to listen. And you can reap the benefits of finally being connected to your team. So much so that perhaps you could start using team decisions. Or at least figure out how to delegate effectively to teams. In the end, one-on-one meetings allow you to know each member of your team very well.

There are many things that change alongside growth. Particularly when it comes to successful startups growing into large companies. One-on-one meetings, however, have earned their keep as an effective tool. They motivate, inspire, connect, and synergize. They allow you to harmonize your team.

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