Different companies have different philosophies of Management. No matter which philosophy is followed by your company, your one-on-one meeting/interaction with your Manager will always remain crucial. Like any other meeting, if you are not well prepared for one-on-one interaction with your Manager, then you won’t get much value out of it. Over several years, I was able to make a comprehensive list of things that you must discuss with your Manager in your next one-on-one meeting.
Current work progress and areas of improvement: Sometimes due to a large group of people reporting to one manager, he/she can’t provide attention to everyone. Thus, take this opportunity to inform your manager about your current work progress. Make sure to communicate current status of your project and any issues that you might be facing. And yeah! Don’t forget to publicize your achievements. We are all humans, and we tend to forget things over time. So, make sure to remind your manager about your value in the company.
Talk about your future goals: My primary focus of one-on-one with my employees is to have a two way communication. I want to know, what I can provide to my employees to make their life easier at work and make them more productive. Thus, I always get impressed by those employees, who acknowledge their weaknesses and have a plan to diminish them. This approach might end up helping you. For example: I used to work with a very talented person. He was a team lead, very technical savvy, but slightly shy in her personality. When he talked to his Boss regarding his weakness and proposed few personality development classes for his improvement, his manager agreed to his plan immediately and paid for his entire program. This might happen to you too. Thus, make sure to communicate your goals with your managers.
Talk about your personal life: Most of the people believe that you should not discuss your personal life with your manager. I don’t agree with that. Of course, you don’t want to bore your manager/boss with your personal life problems, but you should not be afraid of talking about your hobbies and personal life achievements. You never know, your boss might like similar things as you do. And maybe you will end up finding something common between you and your manager, which will help you in the future to establish a positive relationship with him.
Provide feedback: This is one of the best opportunity to provide feedback about your co-workers, lead or manager himself. I like to provide positive as well as negative feedback about my coworkers to my manager. If you are not comfortable with negative feedback then its ok. But you should still provide positive feedback about your coworkers. This will not only make them look good, but it will show your manager that you are a team player and you value your coworker’s opinions. And depending on your relationship with your manager, you should also provide feedback for him. This will help you build trust relationship with your manager.
I hope these tips help you in making the best use of your one-on-one meeting with your Manager. If you know any other ways to make your one-on-one meeting more interesting then feel free to share it with me. I am always looking for people’s feedback to improve my knowledge. Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi