The purpose of one-on-one coaching meetings is to maintain focus on achieving the goal (something of value) and to provide the necessary levels of direction, development, and support with people that report directly to you. When implemented, this process will make each of your direct reports more focused and empowered to take on their tasks.
Use this method to run the meetings:
1) Preparation by the Employee
To ensure smooth one-on-one coaching meetings with your employee, it’s essential that they are prepared to give you the numbers before the one-on-one coaching meeting takes place. It’s not unusual for employees to spend fifteen to thirty minutes preparing for this weekly meeting by pulling all the information from the past week together. They should also come with their list of discussion items, concerns, frustrations, questions, ideas, etc., to be discussed.
2) Preparation by the Manager
One-On-One coaching meetings are almost always the highest impact event of the week for the manager. Therefore, excellent preparation for it is crucial.
The first step is to analyze the metrics for the employee and their business areas, so you have questions to dig into with them.
Take a step back and ask yourself how the employee is feeling these days.
– How is their commitment level?
– How are their skill and commitment levels related to each of the critical projects they’re working on or projects coming up?
– What “situational leadership” style might you use on various projects you’ll be discussing?
Note: A simple One-On-One preparation form can be beneficial for both parties.
3) Opening Check-in
Right off the bat, you can measure the feelings of an employee. More than once I’ve had meetings go exceptionally well by reading the mood of the employee and changing course right away to be more supportive. And often I’ve missed this step and had these meetings go one-hundred miles an hour, sideways. Most likely you will say “So, Bob, how are you doing?” to start the meeting. The next few words that he says – and how he says them – will give you immediate information if you listen to their response, and care about the person.
This skill is especially important to master if you’re leading people who work from home or remote offices where you can’t read their body language.
If the response is favorable – such as “great” or “good” – proceed with the one-on-one coaching meetings meeting. In some cases, though, you might get an unfavorable response such as, “not so good” or “brutal.” At that moment you have to immediately find out what the dilemma is, and diffuse it. You’ll learn that there will be a mixture of maturity levels within your base of employees, too.
4) Review Actual Results vs. Goals Set
Following up on the goals is essential! As a manager, you want your employees to learn to hit the targets they promised. Learning to hit those targets builds commitment and discipline.
If they hit their goals, praise them in a big way. If they missed their goals, then dig in by asking as many probing questions to uncover the cause and to help move them and the project along.
5) Problem Solve
When an employee misses their goals, you have to ask why. Asking the question is what drives the analysis of the call in, and helps to generate options and results so that you can make recommendations to overcome the restraints and maximize the forward-driving forces. This is when a game plan is developed to ensure that the future proximal goals are achieved or exceeded.
It’s part of your job as a manager to develop and refine your employee’s problem-solving skills. You’re not responsible for solving these problems, but you are responsible for leading and developing your team into people who can solve their problems.
6) Set Goals for the Next Period – Then Repeat
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