Below is the original e-Newsletter from March 30, 2018 that inspired my new book, The Greatest Motivational Tool:
This Month's Jolt of JavaAre You Utilizing the #1 Tool for Motivating Your Staff, Players or Kids?"
"1 on 1 Meetings can become a Competitive Separator."
"Rod, we want you to keep teaching and facilitating workshops for our coaches and leaders, but I really want you to increase your 1 on 1 meetings this year. The staff workshops are important, but I believe your 1 on 1 meetings are a competitive separator."
This quote came from one of the executives of an organization I've been working with the past few years. In the last month and a half, I have had nearly seventy-five 1 on 1 meetings with business executives, professional and or college coaches and military leaders. Before I tell you why I believe the 1 on 1 meeting is one of, if not the most powerful motivator of people in today's world, let's look at the top 2 complaints I hear from today's players and employees and then from their coaches and leaders.
THE TOP 2 COMPLAINTS FROM 21st CENTURY PLAYERS AND EMPLOYEES
1. "I just don't feel like they (their coach or boss) care about me as a person."
2. "I wish they would give me clearer expectations. It seems like they always wait until the end of the quarter or season to tell me how I was not performing the way they wanted me to."
TOP 2 COMPLAINTS OF 21st Century EXECs and COACHES
1. "We couldn't have been more clear in our expectations, why aren't they performing at the level we need them to?"
2. "We have parties, we do team building activities, yet we still have people and teams underperforming and complaining that they don't feel engaged. I want to know, how can we get in front of this?"
This month I want to share with you why it is so important for you to be doing timely and consistent 1 on 1 meetings with your players and or staff. Secondly, I will give you a simple format or formula you can use to ensure a productive and positive meeting.
WHY do I need to be doing 1 on 1 meetings more often?
Harvard Business review has done recent studies and articles on the ineffectiveness of one-time yearly reviews. In fact, many successful companies and firms are actually doing away with them in lieu of the consistent 1 on 1 meeting throughout the year. Also, clarity of purpose is essential to high performance. Everyone always says you can't over communicate your mission, vision and values enough. Well, you can't over communicate your expectations enough with the people you lead and that includes our children. Lastly, if people feel like they are valued and that you are growing them both professionally and personally, they will rarely leave for another job or team. You want to develop great people... meet with them 1 on 1. You want to keep great players...meet with them 1 on 1. But to accomplish the latter, these meetings must be done correctly, so let's discuss how.
HOW do I run an effective 1 on 1 meeting and how often?
The first question that needs to be answered is how often should I execute 1 on 1 meetings?
SPORT COACHES: Over the last decade, I have found the most optimal frequency of meetings between players and coaches is a minimum of 3 meetings when in-season and 1 per month in the off-season (with weekly texts woven in).
IN-SEASON 1 ON 1 MEETING SCHEDULE:
#1- Execute 3 Weeks into the season (this way, you and the player can evaluate: performance, possible roles, and their personal life; i.e., "How is life going for you personally now that you are roughly a month in?"
#2-Execute just after the Mid Point of the season and discuss the same things as above, with more emphasis on the role they are finding themselves in or you want them to pursue.
#3-Execute 1 Week prior to the conference tournament, playoffs or final game. *Note this is not an exit interview. At this point, you will discuss everything listed in the meetings above and their role in the upcoming games as it may have changed due to injury etc.
Over the last decade, I have found the most optimal frequency of 1 on 1 meetings between executives and team members is a minimum of one time per month and additional quarterly reviews.
Coaching Points: I would perform both on site and off site 1 on 1's with my team members. At least 1 time quarterly I would take the team member off site, perhaps for a short coffee meeting as a change up.
Quote to Remember as a business leader or Executive:
"No one, should ever be surprised that they are being let go or fired."
A SIMPLE FORMAT FOR YOUR 1 ON 1 MEETINGS
1. Give them the 3 P's at the start of every meeting: Purpose, Process and Payoff
People don't like to be ambushed, tell them the purpose of the meeting is to give them clarity on everything and help them grow professionally and personally.
2. The PROCESS: Discuss what they are doing well. Next, their One Big Thing (OBT) to improve and lastly, the plan of HOW you will be helping them succeed.
People need to feel safe, secure and significant so hunt what they are doing well first and remind them of why you recruited or hired them. Secondly, give them only 1 thing (OBT) to work on, not 3 or even 2. Lastly, they must feel like you are here to help them and are in it with them. After all, you are either coaching them or letting their lack of improvement happen.
3. The PAYOFF: Ask them to tell you what their 1-TakeAway for themselves was from this meeting. Your people should walk away from this meeting with great clarity and you need to make sure they are taking away the "Right" thing... Remember high CLARITY creates high performance.
The biggest mistake I see coaches and execs make in their 1 on 1 meetings is to not make the team member state, verbally (to them), what they are expected to do moving forward. Or worse, the team member states the wrong thing or many things, and the leader doesn't bring them back to the main thing or their one big thing.When done correctly, 1 on 1 meetings can be one of the most powerful motivation tools you can utilize. So why don't we do them? Perhaps the #1 reasons are time and a lack of understanding of how to control the content and outcome of the meetings. Yes, people are messy and at times require high maintenance, but in the 21st century you and I can't afford not to stay out in front of things. You simply can't wait until the end of the year or season. Your players and people want clarity and relationship. You don't need to be their buddy to do a 1 on 1 meeting, you just need to be their coach and mentor. There is much more to write on this topic on the art of the 1 on 1 meeting, but hopefully this gives you enough information to help you move forward in helping your people be the best they can be.
Questions for Discussion:
-Do You Value 1 on 1 meetings? Why or Why not?
-How can I utilize the 1 on 1 meeting to enhance our performance and culture?