Tag Archives: Meetings

Make your one-on-one with your Manager work for you

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

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Posted by on August 14, 2011 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management


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Conduct result-oriented meetings with your Virtual Team

VideoConferenceI hate those video conferences, where people around the world meet in a virtual setting, and at the end of the meeting, the only thing that they can decide is the date for the next meeting. I am sure I am not the only one who has been through these kinds of meetings. Am I right?

In my current position, I manage a diverse team of people from 3 different locations. And I have developed few techniques to conduct effective meetings, which I would like to share with you here.

Know your audience beforehand: The first step is to clearly define the audience that will be attending this meeting. If you are conducting the meeting for the first time, and if you don’t know the background of anyone attending the meeting, then ask around. Try to contact each individual through phone or e-mail to get a better idea of their goals and expectations.

Identify the meeting need: Ideally the meeting originator need to develop an agenda. But I have seen that it doesn’t happen often. Thus, if you don’t know the agenda then your best bet is to as the meeting organizer about the problem that he/she is trying to resolve through this meeting. This will give you an opportunity to prepare yourself before the meeting. And your preparation can be helpful in prioritizing the learning objectives for the next set of meetings.

Create an action plan: Whether it’s running a government or running a company, team works better when there is a shared and visible accountability. I would always suggest you to create an action plan in the meeting, instead of creating it afterwards. By doing this, you are making sure that an action plan is in place before you leave and that action plan is visible to everyone in the team. Thus, there won’t be any situations of miscommunication of the information.

Create support materials: The next to last step of the effective meeting is to determine the materials you will need to supplement the meeting’s outcome so that the learning objectives are achieved. I would recommend following checklist for supporting materials:

  • Create the facilitator notes.
  • Create an action plan with task items, individual’s responsibilities, and deadlines.
  • List of people attending the meeting so that you can send these documents to them.

Continuously monitor progress: The final step is to continually monitor the progress of the meeting and the business need for the meeting. One should make changes based on the successes, or weaknesses, of the meeting. I would recommend creating a shared action plan document, which is visible to the entire team. If you have this set-up, you only need to discuss the status of each individual task during the meeting. And that’s all.

I hope these tips help you in better conducting/attending a virtual team meeting. If you know any other ways to make a virtual team 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


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