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Regular 1:1 Meetings

I had spent nine years in educational leadership before I discovered the concept of managers setting up regular 1:1 meetings with their direct reports.  Although quite simple, I had never seen these meetings modeled nor had I been asked to participate regularly scheduled conversations with my boss.  During the summer of 2017 my friend and colleague Jason Wester introduced me to a book by Kim Scott called Radical Candor.  In her book, Scott talks at great length about the importance of 1:1 meetings and suggests that, "One on one conversations are your must-do meetings - your single best opportunities to listen to the people on your team to make sure you understand their perspective on what’s working and what’s not working."

The rationale for having meaningful, ongoing conversations quickly resonated with me so I began implementing these conversations the following year.  My thoughts on the frequency of these meetings has transformed over the last few years - I started off with quarterly meetings, then monthly meetings, and now I complete weekly meetings with nearly all of my direct reports (about 12 individuals).  Although I am only a month and a half into my weekly 1:1 meetings, I already feel much more connected with my direct reports than ever before.

Information about regular 1:1 meetings can be found in a number of different leadership books.  Aside from Radical Candor, some of the best books that explore regular conversations include Measure What Matters, First Break All the Rules, The Effective Manager, and High Output Management.  For manager who do not yet utilize regular 1:1 meetings I would strongly encourage you to give them a try - it is definitely time well spent!




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