Ensuring a regular 1:1 is not only scheduled between you and your boss but that it actually takes place is a crucial contributing element to everyone’s success at work.
However, without a proper framework in place or having a clear understanding of of how to make the most of these meetings, your 1:1 can quickly become ineffective and just another meeting in your day.
Here are our tried and tested tips to push your meetings in the right direction and keep you focused to excel in your ability to make a lasting impact with your boss.
Leverage your organisational skills.
Be strategic with your calendar and meeting planning. Do either yourself or your boss have back to back meetings where you have to focus on a million things at once? Is there a specific time of the day when you both start to slow down and your concentration levels lessen? Take a minute to hit the pause button and assess both of your calendars to plan your time effectively, especially if you’re placing a recurring calendar invite into your schedule. Ensure that you are sitting down together at a time which maximises the conversational return you will each experience. Not only will this boost your confidence levels when dealing with senior management on a 1:1 basis, but will also improve the quality of your discussion points.
Keep your conversation points as specific as possible.
Your 1:1’s should be a combination of a business update, a high level summary of the key things that you have been focusing on as well as a plan of action for what is yet to come. This is your golden opportunity to have a direct conversation with your boss about current business matters. Not only will it enable you to establish a good working relationship but will strengthen your bond and the trust between you as a team.
Be proactive not reactive.
It might be obvious, but if you bring a problem to the table, always come armed with a solution. Again, think strategically. Understand the impact of any unexpected changes to your current workflow, how this will affect your boss and your department. Get to grips with how you may need to shuffle your workload or theirs to compensate for such changes. This will demonstrate your ability to confidently handle sensitive business matters and further strengthen the bond between you as not only employee and boss, but business partners.
Showcase your ambition.
Change your thinking. You may be in a position of support but you are working alongside the brains behind the department/business. You are learning key business skills in real time and should you wish to pursue your personal development, let your boss know what you need in order to be successful. Don’t assume they know, be brave enough to ask for their support in a constructive and confident way. You are a team and supporting each other is the key to a long lasting and successful working relationship.
Always begin and end on a good note. An easy way to do this is with a positive attitude. It might sound simple but work out what you need to keep yourself motivated and pumped up ahead of your 1:1’s. People will always prefer to work alongside positive people, energy is infectious, nobody likes a Debbie Downer! Be the person that your boss looks forward to meeting, you’ll soon see the likelihood of your 1:1’s being bumped for an alternative meeting diminish and your relationship status go from employee only to official work buddies.