Are one to ones useful as a management activity when the team member is successful and experienced? This is a question often put by managers. Sometimes the managers don’t do one to ones very of often, sometimes they don’t do them at all, but sometimes they do and they are not sure what to talk about.
But interestingly whenever we ask the question of successful team members they are very keen to have one to ones. Why?
It seems to be because the one to one is time set aside for them to discuss their issues and perspectives. They may well be successful but it is good to hear things from their manager or team leader. Any successful person has periods of self doubt and the one to one is a good time to discuss this and offer reassurance. The one to one does not have to take an hour although it is good to set aside this time in case it is required. In terms of what to talk about, it has to be about them so open neutral questions and an inquisitive nature are vital. Probably over a coffee in a venue suitable for a relaxed chat., but a meeting room will do fine if the approach is right.
The one to one gives time for asking about the kind of work they are doing rather than the actual work. To explore their aspirations and motivations. And to see what has changed.
It seems one to ones a very useful activity, especially from the team member’s point of view.