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I’m very lucky to live in a beautiful part of the UK. For me, one of the joys of the lovely weather at this time of year is that I am more likely to run errands on foot, rather than in my car.

Aside from the pleasure of experiencing the gentle sunshine and seeing trees and flowers at their magnificent best, there is something else I enjoy: people. When the weather is good, it tempts other people outside. Whether they, like me, are running errands, taking their children and/or dogs for a walk, or simply enjoying time in their gardens, there are a lot more people to encounter.

The good weather seems to make us far more likely to say “hello”, chat a bit and even exchange the odd joke before we head on. These exchanges brighten our mood and put a smile on our faces; perhaps making it more likely we’ll then say “hello” to the next person we encounter, passing the happy vibe on.

I was reminded of this when approached by a customer who is having trouble with their team. Long established (possibly a little bit too stuck in their ways), this team have given up talking to one another. By talking I mean just that; they email one another a plenty, but talk? Why would they do that when an email trail will prove that it wasn’t their fault if/when things go wrong?

Sound familiar?

Technology has achieved marvellous things in the last 20+ years, but whilst it makes it a lot easier to stay in touch with people, its convenience means we often use it more than is wise when communicating.
As a manager, the one thing that was imprinted into my DNA was the importance of having monthly 1:1s with every member of my team. Sometimes this felt like a huge drain on my time. But actually, for my team members, it was one hour each month when they were guaranteed to have my undivided attention and an opportunity to talk about what mattered to them.

The meetings gave us time to reflect, feedback, and even have those difficult conversations that we might otherwise have avoided.

So, although my customer was asking for ideas on how to improve her team’s performance, I also suggested making 1:1s a core part of her approach to leading her team.
To help you introduce valuable 1:1 time with your team members, or make your existing meetings even more effective, here are some Study Guides you should review:

You’ll also find the Difficult Conversations and Responding to Negative Feedback videos useful.

If you have any questions, please let me know and I will be happy to help.

All the best


June 27 2019 Frances Ferguson
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Frances Ferguson

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