Here’s How You Should Start Your 1-1’s
Your 1-1 Check-Ins are an opportunity to connect personally with the people you lead. Start by asking how they are.
In leadership, time management is often the difference between success and failure. Many leaders schedule their days down to the minute and, as a result, look for every opportunity to save a bit of time—or are battling to ensure they don’t fall behind.
That’s probably why when leaders have their 1-1 Check-Ins with direct reports, it’s natural to dive straight into business. Agendas are packed, timelines are tight, and if you’ve worked with the person for a while, small talk feels unnecessary, or even wasteful.
However, there’s something I strongly encourage you to do at the beginning of every 1-1: start by asking a simple "How are you?" or "How are things going?"
It doesn’t matter if your check-in is an hour or 15 minutes. It doesn’t matter if the direct report is brand new, or if you’ve worked with them for 20 years. Create space for the employee to talk about what is top of mind for them.
Here's why this small change can make a world of difference:
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