In an environment where physical separation and minimized contact have become the norm, it is easy for employees to feel isolated and disjointed, exacerbating the challenges each one already faces individually. And organizational and team leaders are in a position to serve as one the most meaningful links between an organization and its individual members.
One of the most effective and proven practices leaders can embrace is that of holding regular one-on-ones with direct reports or team members. Below are a few basic tips for effective one-on-ones:
In holding these one-on-one conversations, it is important for leaders to remember to keep the conversation focused on their team members and their own human conditions. This means setting aside the temptation to have a project status or work status update during these one-one-one conversations. Remember that the objective of these conversations is to establish and maintain meaningful relationships and connections. In doing so, leaders put themselves in a position to lead their team members through the challenges, anxiety, and whirlwind of disruption. This is not to say that leaders are expected to address or solve the challenges faced by each of their team members. Rather, it is a recognition of the opportunity and the accountability of leaders to help empower their team members to find their own footing, through meaningful connection and care, and enable themselves to progress through the challenges, find their way through and out of them, and stay connected with their leaders, their teams, and their organization.