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1-on-1 Meetings Are the Key to Great Leadership. Here’s How to Do Them Right

As a leader, you need to take time to focus on your employees's development and needs

Source | | Todd Davis

Managers have to do many things to become the leader their teams deserve. But they’re often skipping the very practice that could make the most impact.

Contrary to popular belief, leaders can’t make someone highly-engaged. But they can create the conditions for high engagement, in which people choose to bring their best. And the most effective and overlooked way to do that is holding regular 1-on-1s with their direct reports.

These 1-on-1s create the conditions for engagement by communicating to employees on a consistent basis, “I care about you. I have a vested interest in you and your success.”

But if 1-on-1s are such a valuable tool, why don’t more managers hold them or do them well? There are three main reasons:

  1. They don’t know how to do them or are intimidated by 1-on-1 interaction, so they don’t schedule these meetings at all.
  2. They’re holding 1-on-1s, but only as a status check to monitor progress.
  3. They say they don’t have time and this is by far the most common reason.

When a busy manager says they don’t have time to hold regular 1-on-1s, they’re really saying they don’t have time to be an effective manager. Holding regular 1-on-1s is an investment in time, but it pays off in spades.

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