Elizabeth Toogood is well-qualified to listen, observe and guide top-level executives who are frequently too caught up in the day to day running of their businesses to take time out. Part coach, part mentor and part non-executive director, Elizabeth offers her skills to guide those with ambitions to develop themselves and their businesses to reach their full potential. Liz lives in Bedford, the home of Elizabeth Toogood Critical Friend – a safe pair of hands for those developing their own businesses as well as those working at a senior level where customer service is crucial. She feels passionately about community-based projects and has been a charity trustee, a school governor, a member of Bedfordshire Family Health Services Authority, a business mentor for The Princes Trust and she also takes on an active role within the Fair Trade organisation and The Road Victims Trust, a Bedfordshire based charity.
Phil Jesson is a leading expert and professional speaker in key account management and employee engagement. He has worked with many blue-chip organisations and is equally at home with SMEs. He introduces amusing, thought-provoking insights that stimulate the actions needed to produce sustainable changes in behaviour and results. Author of the recently published “Piranhas In The Bidet” which has received many five-star reviews from its inspired and happy readers, Phil believes that the most important part of his keynotes and workshops are the days that follow. As Phil puts it “a good plan actioned today is better than a perfect plan actioned in three months time!” and he is therefore committed to helping clients during the implementation phase of any assignment.
Phil lives in Leicestershire with his wife, Joanna, who is also his business partner. Together they run their management consultancy, Business Pulse, and they are also licensees for The Academy for Chief Executives in the Peterborough, Northampton, Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Stevenage area.
In this post Liz and Phil have pooled their expertise and experience to explore 1:1s and reveal all on How To Conduct The Best 1:1 Ever. If you are a manager or director you will know that you have a responsibility to every member of your team and that regular 1:1 review meetings are an important part of this relationship. Liz and Phil are here to help you make every meeting matter; start with these top ten tips then read on for more.
- Approach every review meeting as ‘inspirational leader’, not ‘irritating boss’ – be seen as coach, not commander
- Provide light, not heat
- Look up at the horizon, not just down at the bottom line
- Encourage collaboration, not confrontation
- Catch them doing things right, not doing things wrong
- Release them, not restrict them
- Involve them, not instruct them
- Motivate on future activity, not past results
- Secure genuine commitment, not manipulated consent
- Get them in our corner, not corner them
TIME AND PLACE
- Think carefully about the best timing and best environment for the meeting. Same side of the table? No table at all? Off site? Borrow an office?
- Think about the seating plan – is it relaxed and informal?
- Should the meeting be off site?
- Pace yourself if you have a number of 1:1s. You need enough energy to make each meeting special.
- Think carefully about the best order based on the linked issues that will arise.
SHOW YOU CARE
- There is nothing more de-motivational that cancelling a one-to-one. Although you might offer comments like “an important customer issue has come up” or “sorry, it is out of my control, I have been summoned to a meeting” their interpretation will be “something has come up that is more important than me!” This is not true, of course, but it will be their truth, nevertheless
- Book the meeting and consider offering a back-up date just in case……. “Pete, let’s meet next Tuesday at 4pm but if either of us is in a crisis situation that day then let’s meet up on Friday at 10am.”
- Do whatever is necessary to prevent interruptions
- Encourage the team member to prepare for the meeting –it is, after all, their one-to-one! If you want to see people behaving badly then surprise them and they normally will! Giving them a head start normally achieves a better result
- So….if you have agenda items in mind, share them in advance “One of the things I would like to cover is………..”
- Create a warm, friendly environment and put your colleague at ease
- Explain why you have been looking forward to the meeting
- Switch your phone off (!)
- Try to avoid copious note taking. Tune in and maintain good eye contact
THE SIX STAGES OF G.R.O.W.T.H.
G AIN INFORMATION
Find out what is on their shopping list
Agree the objectives for the meeting
If there is a huge issue on the agenda, break it down by asking “which part of that would you like to discuss/work on today?”
As a general rule, get their view of the situation first. Ask good, open questions
Establish how the team member is performing compared to the plan. Avoid too many “why?” questions if you can, as they can be seen as critical or judgemental. Instead try:
- What did you set out to achieve?
- Where are you now?
- What’s going well?
- What’s not going so well?
- How do you feel about that?
- What are the reasons for…………….?
- Where has this sort of thing happened before?
- How do you feel about the support you have had from me?
- If you could put the clocks back what would you have done differently?
- So what conclusions have you come to about the current situation?
Summarise and check regularly to make sure you have understood. Listen to what is being said, and also to what is “not being said.” Try:
- If I’ve understood you correctly……..
- You sound………….
- What is so important to you about that…………
- What exactly…………….
- Let me check that if I have got this right…………
- Say some more about………..
- Can you help me understand…………..
R ESPOND APPROPRIATELY
- I can see why that is so important to you……
- I like the way that you have………….
- I hear what you are saying…………
- I think you are right about………….
- That rings a bell for me too because………..
State your case:
- In my view…………..
- The reason why we did that is…………..
- Let me explain why …………….
Say how you feel:
- Right now I feel……………
- I am so pleased about………….
- I feel disappointed about…………..
- I’ve thought about this and still feel…………
Decide how you will deal with any issues about relationships especially if the third party involved is not part of your team
O PTIONS GOING FORWARD
Let them work out the best way forward if they can. Don’t jump in and “fix them” with your wisdom. They need to own the solutions to their issues:
- What different options have you got?
- What are the pros and cons of each option?
- What else could you try?
Say what you would like to see happening
- I would like……………
- The most important thing for me is…………..
- I am hoping that you will…………
Be clear about what is and is not possible
W IND-UP WITH CLEAR ACTIONS
Bring things to a close with clarity and agreement
- So what exactly are you now going to do?
- How will you achieve that?
- Just summarise the key points for me………….
- “With your……..and my……..we can……..”
- When will you be able to complete that?
- What are the key landmarks along the way?
- When would be a good date for us to review how you are getting on?
Make sure that your team member has all the help and support they need to achieve their action plan
- What support will you need from others?
- What other resources do you need?
- How can I help you?
Ask them to confirm their understanding of the meeting through a short email, including any help needed going forward. Summarise the meeting and finish on a high!
If you’d like to know more about Liz or Phil or to find out what else they can offer you, please take a moment to follow the links and look at their websites. Leave your comments here or tweet them Liz @LizToogood and Phil @kamguru. Many thanks.