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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

I tell managers that regular one-on-one meetings with each employee are critical to their relationship. I show how to use the meeting to ensure that you are getting to know the employee and how you are using that information to engage, develop, and appreciate the employee.

I also tell them that these meetings HAVE to be the most important ones on the calendar. The way a manager treats these meetings is as important as the meeting itself.

If you are the manager who is constantly rescheduling, or cancelling, or cutting the meeting short, what message is that sending? To the employee, it means they aren't as important. Regardless of what you say, your actions mean that the one-on-one isn't important, or is a bother, or is getting in the way of your "real" important work.

I rarely reschedule a one-on-one, unless the employee suggests it. I never cut a meeting short. And I never let anything else distract me. I make sure the employee knows that 30 minutes is totally dedicated to them. I SHOW them they are important. It isn't always easy, but I guarantee that the engagement and appreciation I get from the employees has more than made up for any difficulty I've faced.

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