The Key to Holding a Successful 1-on-1 Meeting

Modern IT teams do more than gather requirements, write code, and deploy features. These teams are part of a complex collaboration to innovate and build cool tools, which means your soft skills are just as crucial as your coding ability.

One of the biggest challenges IT experts sometimes face is handling one-on-one meetings with staff effectively. These meetings are great ways to bond with your team members. They provide a personalized forum for communicating with individuals within a big team. But these meetings can quickly go awry if you don’t have a set of guidelines to follow.

Why Are 1:1 Meetings Important?

Group dynamics play a role in any IT team. Carving out the time for a personalized meeting with the individual members of your team is critical for several reasons:

  • 1:1 meetings help you build relationships. They build trust as you get to know the individual members of your team and what matters to them. It’s a good forum to learn the strengths and weaknesses of your team members and their future goals.
  • 1:1 meetings are perfect for feedback you can’t or shouldn’t share in a group setting. Praising a team member in a group setting is great. But if you have some constructive “needs improvement feedback,” a more intimate setting is required.
  • 1:1 meetings help you discuss your team members’ needs, wants, and priorities. This enables you to align with the team’s objectives and clearly understand what each team member needs to accomplish.

Now that the importance of 1:1 meetings is clear, let’s discuss how to conduct them effectively.

How to Run More Effective 1:1 Meetings

Some of the keys to running more effective one-on-one meetings include:

  • Have a clear agenda. You already know the importance of keeping your entire team on track with a clear schedule, so it’s helpful to do the same on a small scale. Send the agenda to the individual in advance so they have time to prepare for the discussion.
  • Create a comfortable environment. Choose a comfortable environment, even if they’re conducted remotely. You want these meetings to be relaxed for both of you.
  • Practice active listening. Encourage your team member to be candid and listen carefully, providing your full attention. Never multitask during these meetings.
  • Take notes and follow up. Every one-on-one should build toward something, so take notes and follow up on action items. You can even send a follow-up email to the employee on these action items. This is an essential step for continuous improvement.

Following these best practices will help you build a stronger relationship with your team while keeping everyone on the same page. But sometimes, even your best efforts aren’t enough. If you’re struggling with your current work environment, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Blackstone Talent Group. We can help you move forward in your career.

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