Your team is ducking your 1-on-1 meetings because they suck.

Eliminate these 5 demoralizing mistakes, and you'll reenergize your team:
1. Don't Cancel

This should go without saying, but it needs to be said.

Nothing erodes trust more than telling people they're not important.

And nothing says you're not important, like I can't keep 30 minutes with you each week sacred.

PS - This is 10x true for your stars.
2. Don't Care

I made this mistake early and often in my career.

I wanted a clear separation of church and state. So I kept my team at arm's length. I shared very little about myself and inquired just as little about them.

Wrong. All wrong.
You need to know your people well to show up for them when they're not.

This will be your legacy as a leader.

So next time you ask how they're doing and get a tepid "Fine," ask again:

"No, really, how are you doing?"

Listen like your success depends on it. Because it does.
3. Don't Direct

The workweek is filled with tiny transactional moments.

This small block is your chance to slow down, ask questions, and learn what your people are really like.

Good Questions >> Great Answers

Be the Curious Coach, not Directing Dictator.
4. Don't Waffle

If you've invested in building trust, this is your most intimate meeting.

At times, you will need to give critical feedback.

This is your best venue.

Don't: Soften your critique with a compliment sandwich.

Do: Ask them if they met their own high expectations.
5. Don't Distract

This meeting can't always be about asking them for more.

Yet that's what most managers use it to do—pile on just one additional ask.

And then wonder why their people fall over with burnout.
Instead, try inverting it:
- What's the least valuable thing we can kill?
- Is there something we can move?
- What's next to automate?

Part of cultivating a healthy culture is mastering the art of pruning.
So now that you know how not to lose, perhaps you're wondering how to lead these meetings so you can win.

Readers of my weekly MGMT Playbook will get my exact blueprint (and 1:1 check-in template) tomorrow.

Always less than a 5-minute read. Always free.
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