One-on-One Meetings

Managers: Empower Your Team by Letting Them Own One-on-Ones

Discover how giving your team members ownership of one-on-ones leads to more effective leadership

As a growth-minded manager, you understand the importance of one-on-one meetings with your team members. Regular check-ins allow for open communication, feedback, and the opportunity to address any issues or concerns. But have you considered the impact of letting your team members own these meetings? In this post, we'll explore how embracing the servant leadership philosophy and becoming a humble manager can empower your team and improve your management and leadership skills.

The Servant Leadership Approach

The concept of servant leadership was first introduced by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970. It emphasizes the leader's role as a servant who supports and empowers their team, putting their needs first and helping them develop and perform to their highest potential. By adopting this approach, managers can create a more positive work environment where employees feel valued, engaged, and motivated to perform at their best.

Team Members Owning One-on-Ones

Traditionally, managers have been responsible for setting the agenda and leading one-on-one meetings. However, a shift towards team members owning their one-on-ones aligns with the principles of servant leadership and fosters a more inclusive and collaborative environment. Here are some key benefits of this approach:

  1. Encourages Open Communication: When team members set the agenda and lead the conversation, they feel more comfortable discussing their concerns, ideas, and challenges, fostering a culture of transparency and trust.

  2. Promotes Accountability: Allowing team members to take ownership of their one-on-ones encourages them to be proactive about their performance, goals, and career development.

  3. Enhances Engagement: By giving team members the opportunity to drive the conversation, managers demonstrate that they value their input and are genuinely invested in their growth and success.

Implementing the Shift

To effectively implement this shift in your one-on-one meetings, consider the following steps:

  1. Communicate the Change: Explain to your team members the benefits of this approach and your reasons for adopting it. This will help them understand the purpose behind the change and embrace it more readily.

  2. Provide Guidance: Offer suggestions on how team members can prepare for and lead their one-on-ones, such as setting an agenda, discussing their goals and challenges, and providing feedback on your management style.

  3. Be Supportive: As a humble manager, your role is to listen, provide guidance, and support your team members in their growth and development. Be open to their feedback and be prepared to adapt your leadership style as needed.

By embracing the concept of servant leadership and allowing your team members to own their one-on-ones, you will foster a more empowering, respectful, and collaborative work environment that benefits both your team members and your own management and leadership skills.