In many organizations and teams, spending the day in meetings is the norm.
Shocked? Didn’t think so.
I’m not going to convince you to back out of all of your meetings today. Although there is a case for that. To be part of a high performing team, I do want you to allow time for the two most important meetings you can have during a week.
Meet with yourself
Before you connect with anyone else during your week, you must connect to yourself. A “ME Meeting.”
If you are not grounded in how you’re feeling, what your priorities are and the demands on you are, you’ll easily be tossed around.
I suggest one-hour every week. I prefer Sundays as it helps me wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the week on Monday. Some do it Monday morning, as they don’t like to interrupt their weekends. Perhaps try both a few times and see which produces results and makes you feel good.
Some people use a planner, some their phone calendar. To me, it’s more about slowing down to understand your week. That understanding can lead to better performance when leveraged to maximize both your time and your impact.
Meet 1:1 with your leader
Yes, I know, you “don’t need managing.” Or perhaps you’re like me and have problems with authority. Or don’t like attention on yourself.
Or maybe it’s your leader. Inaccessible. Busy. The “just let me know when you need me,” “sorry to have to cancel again” leader.
Whatever the reason is that you are not having a 1:1 with your leader now – stop making excuses. You deserve to have guidance and support from your leader. You are doing amazing work that they should have access to. Your leader has knowledge and experience to share with you. And you aren’t going to get or give as much if you don’t schedule recurring meetings.
If you’re a leader, make this happen. Audit your big priorities and make this one of them. If you have too many on your plate, it’s time to talk to your leader about making time for your most precious resource – your people.
If you’re an employee, stop waiting. Initiate this meeting. Tell your leader how often you want to meet, put the reoccurring meeting on your calendar and then form the agenda. Own this meeting and make it productive.
Form the habit
The best leader I have ever had conducted amazing 1:1’s with me weekly. And once a month our time was focused on my engagement and how I was feeling. “Blech,” I thought.
Now, I’m all about the feelings but hated the formality of it. And I loved this leader and completely trusted her, but I just felt weird about it at the time. So, I fought her on it. At least the one week each month where we were to connect on a deeper level. In hindsight, I realize I was nervous to do this as I’d never had a leader who did this before. Sad.
What would have happened if she gave up after I turned her down a few times? If we didn’t spend time dreaming and scheming together? If she didn’t develop trust with me?
I know what would have happened. I guarantee you I wouldn’t be where I am today. At least not with the experience I gained during the time I worked for her. Or with the model of what a truly great – not perfect, mind you – but, great leader looks like.
And I wouldn’t know the feeling of what it’s like to have a leader who SHOWS ME I’m important to them, who listens to my ideas and who coaches me when I need it. And that forever changed me.
Peace and Progress,