Five Hidden Tasks a Manager Has To Do For an Effective One-to-one Session

As a Manager, I have held one-to-one sessions half-yearly with everyone, to make sure I am able to

  1. Communicate the management’s expectation.
  2. Receive formal feedbacks from my team.

Having these discussions with everyone takes a lot of effort than you may think. Here’s behind the scenes of what managers do for one-to-one sessions.

  1. As preparation, I would list down the issues, questions to ponder. Sometimes I let my team know the points to think about prior to attending the one-to-one sessions, so they can prepare their ideas.

  1. During the session, I needed to stay focused on my customer in front of me. That meant, completing my own tasks before I can attend my sessions. Usually, my sessions took 10-15 minutes per person, so, to complete my team, it took about 2 – 3 days, depending on situations.

  1. I needed to attend sessions emotionally neutral, and unbiased. That is so that I can receive feedbacks as open and positively as possible, and so that we can come up with solutions healthily together. Active listening is very important, because only by asking the right questions, can we point out the root cause of a problem together, and think of a solution correctly together. Key word here is, together, because my job as a manager is not to generate answers and just pass to my team, but to round up a doable solution from them, in order to encourage ownership, and satisfaction.

  1. We also discussed each individual KPIs, and see what’s not on schedule, and why, and if there’s anything I can do to help. I also had to bring about any issues to improve the staff’s performance. Again, here, I needed to listen actively and be open, because there is always a reason why a staff drops in performance. And then again, we come to discuss how together we can improve the situation and set a goal for his/her improvement.

  1. Taking notes is a must. Because the actual job begins after the session. I would summarize the points from everyone. There are many tasks as a manager that I needed to do, in order to help my team, achieve our goals. Sometimes, I needed to find ways to create a better, less quarrelling environment with another department. Sometimes, I needed to discuss with Training team to allocate a budget for a particular training for my whole team. Sometimes, I needed to address a specific team member about his unmanageable attitude. This is where my job as a manager is – to help my customer, my team, and make them happy. All to achieve the organizational goal.

Do you enjoy one-to-one sessions? Tell us in the comments, what was good for you, and what you think needed to improve.


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