A Five Step One-on-One Any Leader Can Do
When you know what’s next you can prepare and perform.
Structure provides predictability.
Predictability enables preparation.
Preparation raises confidence.
Confidence is energy.
A 5 step one-on-one any leader can do:
#1. Provide brag time.
- What one result from last week makes you proud?
- Tell me one thing you did really well last week.
- What one thing worked well for you last week?
#2. Provide ‘go with’ feedback.
Avoid the temptation to improve on someone’s brag. Use this time to fill their sails with wind by honoring effort and achievement.
Assume people want to excel. Tell them what you see.
- Yes, I noticed the results you achieved. You must feel proud.
- Yes, I noticed you calling clients. Congratulations. You worked hard.
- Yes, I saw you practicing your listening skills. Awesome!
#3. Pursue better.
What one thing would you like to do different or better?
The pursuit of ‘better’ is a good thing. Don’t let it feel negative.
Tip: Commit to improve your performance too. We’re all rowing in the same boat.
- You’re right. I see what you’re saying. I agree.
- What are some options for making this better?
- Which of your strengths might help you improve in this area?
- How does doing better help you reach your personal goals?
Agree on one action item.
- Which option would you like to try? How? How often?
- If I saw you executing on your goal, what would I see you doing?
- Nudge them to reach higher when appropriate. Perhaps it’s time for a stretch. How might you take this to the next level?
- What would you like me to ask you next time?
High performers love to improve.
What might you amend or add to the five step structure listed above?
*** This post is adapted from a conversation I had with the internal coaches at All4 Inc. and Alf Goodall.
Thanks for the shout out Dan. That’s two in a short period. Very humbling.
I do want to point to the work of Dave Holt from Collingwood, Ontario, Canada and the Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA). He is the one who provided our team with the tools we needed to be world-class sales coaches and it’s the CPSA’s Professional Sales Management program we utilize.
Our sales leaders, the nine people I directly serve, take 15 minutes (as often as once a week but no less than monthly) to take every team member (almost 100 on the team) through this little five step coaching model. We call it a goal setting and review meeting.
The purpose is for a team member to self-identify an opportunity they want to work on. Their coach (and yes, that’s a term we use around here) then helps uncover how that team member is doing on that goal. We always start with the positive; only by honouring what we do well can we then move to where we might want to see some change.
A couple of things are really important here: 1) we always need to find what we did well even in the most disastrous of circumstances (hey, you had the courage to try!) and 2) boxes three and four don’t have to be negative (what you didn’t do well) and can be a discussion of taking something from good to great or great to greatest ever. It’s all about stretching and improving and doing so in a positive environment.
As for the results, we have a 83% employee engagement score where most large employers would be lucky to hit 50%, we have a single digit turnover rate (6% to 8% range) in an industry where 12%+ is the norm, and we routinely exceed industry sales growth by a 2%+ premium (if industry grows by 6%, we would expect to do 8%, etc). We’re not sitting around gazing at our navels and singing folk songs. We are getting better every day so we can create better results for all of our stakeholders, including ourselves.
If people will indulge me I want to give a shout out to those nine incredible coaches and leaders: Dave Garland, Tom Donston, JoAnne Laird, Dominic Presutti, Adam Rosati, John Foster, Kevin Venuto, Debbie Robillard and Tom Schiersch. They deserve the credit here.
Thanks again Dan. You’re a great friend. I appreciate the opportunity to share the great leadership shown by our fantastic coaches!
Thanks Alf. Hats off to you and the team you serve!
One thing that shines through is your commitment to personal growth from a positive orientation. I find it energizing.
Thanks Dan…you have provided structure around the idea of how to create structure.
Thanks Will. Is that like the meeting before the meeting? 🙂
I tried out your suggestions to spend a meeting on the meeting and to have folks submit some suggestions before the meeting started and than guess who made the suggestions. Our team meetings have been buzzing ever since. Im going to try this one out too. I’m a new supervisor so at first my 1/1s were filled with lots of questions so I could learn and get up to speed but now they are ready for a bit more. Having some ideas as a starting point really helps. Thanks!
Thanks KWa. It’s great when something works! Congratulations and best for the future. You might also find the One-on-one worksheet useful. It’s a way to engage team members in the process.
Thanks, Dan, for these templates. Like PITSITN, they really help focus what seems like a cloud of thoughts and ideas.
Thanks Chris. Now all we need is a memorable acronym for this one. It doesn’t even have to be good, just memorable.
Hi Dan! I am viewing this article in relation to my future career in the education field and I found it beneficial when it comes to professional development. I find this information to be helpful when working with a classroom full of students or with fellow educators. Do you have any advice for making these behaviors become habit?