Depending on where you work, getting the chance to meet one on one with your boss may be a part of the weekly schedule or something you rarely get to do at all.
Regardless of how often the two of you meet, it’s important to make that time work to your advantage.
So how do you do that?
What should you use the meeting for?
How can you steer the conversation in a way that benefits you and helps you further your career?
Today we’re answering all of those questions and more. Keep reading to learn how to make the most of one-on-one meetings with your boss.
1. Prepare a List of Topics You Want to Discuss
Walk into your boss’ office unprepared, and the chances of you having a successful meeting are slim to none.
You have to prepare ahead of time.
In the days leading up to your meeting, jot down notes as you think of topics and issues you want to address.
In the meeting, take notes, listen, and initiate some of your own topics of conversation as well.
Sometimes you may need to talk about an issue with a project or a problem in the office. It’s fine to bring these issues up, but make sure you have a solution as well.
Anyone can go to the boss with a problem. But the employees that will stand out are the ones who present solutions to remedy the situation.
If you’re working on a big project, your boss will probably ask about it.
Think of how you want to discuss your progress ahead of time. Have an idea of how you want to answer these questions in your head.
If things aren’t going according to plan, don’t put all the blame on another coworker. Make sure you take accountability for your role and have an action plan for how you intend to resolve it.
In addition, if there were any questions asked of you at the last meeting, make sure you have the answers to those as well.
2. Don’t Waste Your Time With Status Updates
Your boss may want your meeting to be a simple status update, but it’s important that you make use of this time in other ways.
Status updates should be brief, small moments of your meeting. They should not be your sole focus.
Use this time to get feedback on how you’re performing and how you can improve. Discuss long term goals and set milestones for how to reach them. Revisit those goals in future meetings to see what progress you’re making or where you’re falling short.
This is also your chance to present new ideas that you have or new practices that you’d like to implement. Have a method or system in mind and let your boss know how you think you can achieve these new goals.
3. Ask Questions
The coveted one-on-one time with your boss is the perfect chance to ask questions.
- Do you have questions or concerns about a project or a client?
- Is there something you’d like to take the lead on?
- Do you want to know how well you’re performing?
Ask those questions — and be ready for honest answers.
As your boss answers, take notes. When the meeting is over, you’ll need to follow up, especially on topics that you initiated yourself.
Asking questions shows that you care about your career. It also shows that you’re proactive. And these are two qualities that all employers appreciate.
4. Share Your Wins and Successes
Bosses get bad news all the time, so if you have good news to share, say so!
Maybe you just landed a new client. Perhaps your boss just got a promotion. Maybe your team completed a recent project ahead of schedule. Whether it’s a personal success, a team success, or your boss’ success, discuss it briefly in your one on one.
Have an assistant or a team that you manage? It’s important to mention their successes as well. Why? Because it’s a reflection on you and shows that you’re leading them properly.
5. Follow Up
It doesn’t matter whether your boss tasks you with a big project or asks a small question. You must follow up when the meeting is over!
Follow up with a brief email as soon as the task is complete. That way, your boss can decide if they want to hear the info immediately or wait until your next meeting to learn the details.
Following up immediately shows that you take your boss’ words seriously. A simple email is all it takes to show that you’re on top of things.
Learning how to handle a one-on-one meeting can help you advance your career, so take those meetings seriously and know what to do before, during, and after.
Before the meeting:
- Write down ideas, questions, problems, and solutions that you want to discuss.
During the meeting:
- Give your boss status updates as required, but maximize the time in other ways.
- Ask questions, discuss future goals, and devise a plan to reach those goals.
- Take notes, listen to what your boss says, and share any successes you’ve had, even if they’re small.
And when the meeting is over, make sure you follow up.
Being proactive in your approach will show your dedication to both the company and your career. If you can learn to master the one on one, that next big promotion might be yours!
Brixton’s Business Manager, Avonte King-Henry, joined Alliance Residential Company in 2018. He has numerous properties under his belt, and his property management experience extends from small sites to large lease-ups. He is ecstatic to continue his career at Brixton.