One-on-Ones Help You Develop a Peer-to-Peer Relationship, Not a Maternal or Paternal Relationship
The managerial relationship in a one-on-one is more of a mentoring or coaching relationship. The manager represents the organization to the employee. This is not a parent-child relationship; this is a peer-to-peer relationship.
I have learned from “my” employees. I put quotes around my because they aren’t mine. They are employees of the organization. They don’t belong to me. They are human beings who are affiliated with me. My status in the organization doesn’t depend on how many people I “have.”
What does matter to me is that all the people in my group are performing at their maximum capability. If I can enhance their capability, if I can leverage their work, then I have performed my job as a manager. That says to me I need to serve my staff.
One-on-ones Allow the Manager to Serve
Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, in their book Break all the Rules, have data that says that the best predictor of an employee’s likelihood of staying in a position is the relationship with his or her manager. After that, comes having friends at work.
When you have one-on-ones with your staff, you can build that trusting relationship with them. You can see if people have friends. You can serve your staff by helping them—if they want help—with career development, coaching, and mentoring. You can provide feedback if you catch people doing something great and if you notice them doing something not so great. And, you know what people are working on, so you can manage the project portfolio and know when it’s time to hire people.
You can be a servant leader. Not so bad for twenty minutes once a week, eh?
Read all of Johanna's Management Myths here:
- The Myth of 100% Utilization
- Only the 'Expert' Can Perform This Work
- We Must Treat Everyone the Same Way
- I Don't Need One-on-Ones
- We Must Have an Objective Ranking System
- I Can Save Everyone
- I Am Too Valuable to Take a Vacation
- I Can Still Do Significant Technical Work
- We Have No Time for Training
- I Can Measure the Work by the Time People Spend at Work
- The Team Needs a Cheerleader!
- I Must Promote the Best Technical Person to Be a Manager
- I Must Never Admit My Mistakes