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Chapter 3. At the End of the Meeting > Tip 15 Quick Strategies For One-On-One M...

Tip 15 Quick Strategies For One-On-One Meetings

  • Request and plan for regular one-on-one meetings with your boss. Although ad hoc meetings are useful, don’t depend on them for all the vital exchanges that are the lifeblood of business. Instead, let regularly scheduled one-on-ones replace some of the ad hocs you have with your boss. You may both get more done.

  • Schedule it short and keep it short. Thirty or so minutes every week might be all you need—if you’re organized before and during the meeting.

  • Make it “your” meeting. Get your boss to agree that this meeting is for your agenda. His or her issues are important, but agree to save them for team meetings, or at least for another meeting. Make this meeting yours.

  • Follow a prioritized agenda. Have it ready and waiting. Discuss the most important items first. Don’t try to cover too much: remember, better some progress on few issues than no progress on many.

  • Bring solutions, not just problems. Bring clear descriptions of problems and issues you’re facing, but also bring your best solution, your best alternatives for solutions, or at least your criteria for what a good solution would do. In short, help your boss answer your questions.

  • Speak concisely. Speak in “sound bites.” Give the overview, not the details—unless they are absolutely essential or your boss requests them. Remember, the boss manages the big picture, not the details.

  • Listen hard. Good listening is the key to communication.

  • Summarize at the end of the meeting. Reconfirm what decisions you and your boss have made and who is supposed to do what. Record these key decisions and action plans.

  • Encourage your subordinates to schedule “their” meetings with you. Let them speak their own agendas, just as you speak yours to your superior. At “their” meetings, listen a lot more than you talk.



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