By Jeff Auston, February 11, 2015

The Value of One-on-Ones

Time flies by so fast. I’ve been working at the art of two parallel concepts for some time now— managing people in the workplace and raising kids. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to positively influence both groups of people, and one of my greatest joys these days is the feeling of deep connection I have with both my work team members and with my children.

How did I get to this point? I make the time for one-on-ones with people. While group settings are super important as well to build teamwork, help individuals realize the vision and purposes for their teams, and define what success looks like at a team level, the true connection happens face to face, person to person.

I learn so much about how a person feels about their role, how they feel about their team, where their values align with the Company or the Family. I get great insights to what drives and inspires them currently, and what is compelling for them as they think about their future. I also get deep clues into their triggers—those things that demotivate, separate, and ultimately undermine the foundations of a team.  These silent momentum killers adversely affect not just one person’s performance, but eventually ruin the opportunity for teams to perform at their highest level. The same holds true in a family setting—our kids need direction where they lack experience, and when I connect with them on what is happening, and can help them understand why it’s happening, true problem solving becomes possible.

While some may think think that the time investment into doing regular one-on-ones is burdensome and perhaps not valuable, I would argue it’s the most important thing you can do for your team, at work or at home. Fifteen minutes is enough. Dig in and find those drivers and triggers. Get them on the table. That way, you can lead with perspective, understanding, and empathy. And your team members will thank you for it.