I remember the moment I became passionate about one-on-ones. I was in day 2 supporting a nationally known author/consultant in the area of conflict management/robust conversations. Our challenge: We were 16 months into a curriculum rollout/organizational change and the success was present, but only in pockets. As we went from group to group getting feedback on successes and failures, a question came to my mind, so I asked it. “Bill, in your assumptions of organizations and relationships between leaders and their teams, do you assume that leaders are meeting one-on-one with their teams regularly?” His answer “Yes.” It hit me, we can equip leaders all day long to have these wonderful fierce, crucial, or honest conversations, and yet if they are not creating controlled space that is safe and focused (like a one-on-one conversation) it will be difficult to practice and change habits. More importantly Failure rate > Success rate – and failure in the area of building relationships (ie. leadership) is expensive at many levels.
That is also the time I realized I would start a crusade around habits that mean the most to people (ie. engagement!) and that busy leaders, if they are willing to practice them will get the biggest ROT (return on time).
Here are some videos I have put together for leaders to think differently about this time using the Johari Window as a lens for not only how they listen, but how they create safety for their people by sharing first.
What is to come? A script for how this could be a 15 minute time of learning in one of your team meetings and a key note/workshop around one on ones where this could be used. Subscribe to my trU Tips and you will get the templates.
I believe our learning model for most organizations has changed, instead of going off to class, practicing, and then coming back to receive practice/support to help us get better – we now are in positions where we have to learn as we do and it is important in that model to get support and feedback real-time. Since 99.9% of companies have <500 people, this model works great as long as leaders are present on a somewhat routine basis and the time is productive for both leader and individual.
My goal is to equip leaders and key supporters (HR leaders) to help their people create the habits that feed a frenzy of honest conversations, that lead to thoughtful actions, and result in trUPerformance.