Has the “One on One” Officially Died?

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When I was a young sales person I met face to face with my Sales Manager every single Monday morning. We talked about my sales metrics from the previous week, he double checked my documentation in the CRM, we talked about this week’s plan, and he gave me feedback on where I can improve. Most importantly, he asked me where I needed help.

Because I knew Monday morning was coming and good old Kirby (that was my first manager’s name) was going to be in my kitchen, it really helped give me that extra accountability I needed to make sure I did all of the little things. I didn’t cut corners, because I didn’t want Kirby to find out and be disappointed. Eventually, I started just doing the little things right because I started seeing the results and those “little things,” all of a sudden had a ton of value to me.

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Sadly enough, I talk to and work with a lot of teams and companies these days who have given up on this ancient practice. Not all, but lots. “I don’t want to be a micromanager,” people say to me. “I’m paying someone a base salary. I shouldn’t have to follow up with them to make sure they are doing their job properly,” is a common mindset I hear out of business owners and Sales Leaders today.

“When and why has the One on One died?”

If you are looking for big time change on your team, throughout your organization, or even in your personal life give some old school accountability another chance. Trust me, your people want it. Set crystal clear expectations with your team. If you need to, RESET expectations. Then, start sitting people down every single week and holding them accountable to what they are expected to do. Use this time to give feedback, training, support, help, and coach.

I learned more sitting in those one on ones with Kirby than I ever did in a Dale Carnegie book or sales seminar. A culture of high expectation and even higher accountability wins. Were there times I wanted to throw down with Kirby after a long weekend? Sure. But in the end, he molded me into a winner.

Have one on ones come to a halt in your organization? Beware — mediocrity is often not far behind. Cancel those quarterly and yearly reviews, and get back to old school, in the weeds management of your people. It’s not micromanagement — it’s management. And it produces winners.

Happy Hunting — and thank you Kirby!