1-1 Meeting Pet Peeves

Yes…I have an infinite number of pet peeves.  Let’s focus in on the 1-1 meeting this go around.   Just to make sure we are on the same page, I am referring to the meeting between manager and direct report:

  • Repeating Status:  Please do not ask people to submit status reports and then repeat them to you in a meeting. Please stop!  For starters, your employee thinks you are wasting their time and patronizing them to validate your own value.  Second, you only get so much time to help educate, support, etc…why waste it on information you already had access to.
  • Often canceled:  Track the number of times you canceled a 1-1.  Here’s what you are saying:  “This meeting is for me.  I have other more important things that you.”  Yes, we are all busy but if you have direct reports, they are a priority because all of that work you need to get done…gets done by them!
  • Lasts 5 minutes:  “Hi.  How are you?  Do you have anything we need to talk about?  Ok, have a good day!” Now I’m a big fan of the quick check-in but not for a 1-1.  This is an opportunity, do you homework before the meeting!  I will have a series of topics/exercises that I will cover for the purpose of education or discussion.  Yes, this takes effort.  Your employees are worth it!
  • One way conversation:  Pay attention to how much time you are talking during a 30 min 1-1.  It should be a two way conversation not a mini lecture.  Do you want them to come back engaged?
  • Rant sessions only:  Sometimes we all need a good vent session.  I have managers that report to me.  They can’t just vent to their teams.  They need an outlet.  However, if 1-1 after 1-1 is a vent session…you and/or the employee needs to seriously consider how to correct the challenges or if a fit still exists.
  • Exactly the same after a year:  I rarely have 1-1 meetings that are exactly the same.  I adjust to an individual’s preferences and where are relationship of trust is at.  At the beginning, I’m bringing more topics to the plate.  After awhile, they should be bringing more topics to the meeting.  This is growth.  For the employee.  For me.  For us.

What are your 1-1 meeting pet peeves?

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