How to get the most out of a 1 to 1

With September around the corner it’s the time of year we start to think about our goals and plans for the coming year ahead. Schools and Universities are back open, and here at Inspired we are approaching appraisal season, and we love it!

That may sound a little strange to some readers, but honestly the opportunity to sit down for an hour with your boss to celebrate your successes, be open about where you need more help or support, talk about your personal development needs and appraise yourself in every way should be something to be celebrated.

Appraisals are of course not the only instance where we have a 1 to 1 with our line manager - it could be a more general catch up or a quarterly meeting but whatever the case, this is your time to get what you need from the meeting, and another way to show your professionalism and ambition to continue to succeed in your role. Or even if things aren’t going so well, this is your chance to change that. Whether you love it or hate it, we wanted to share some hints and tips on how to get the most from these meetings!

  1. Ahead of the meeting – send through any information or materials you might want to talk through. Whether this is an appraisal form, figures, goals you set yourself last time you spoke or even your job description, sending these through in advance to give your Manager a chance to understand what you want to focus on, will help to get the most of the meeting for you both.
  2. Look at your performance – have a clear understanding of every performance indicator that you are measured on, and look at how that is helping the business meet its goals and how you are championing your business’ culture. This doesn’t have to be numbers related, it could be around delivering communications or how you have adapted processes to help the business be more successful. Directly align your performance with how it is helping the wider business.
  3. Show your value internally as well as externally. Talk about how you are aligned with the company’s values and how you fit in with this. Culture is so important in an organisation – if you have a supportive, successful, empowering culture – show how you embody this culture and these values in your 121s.
  4. Make sure you plan ahead of your meeting – you may be given something to fill in ahead of meeting your manager, or it might just be a general catch up. Regardless, make sure that you have planned for yourself what you want to get out of that meeting. This shows your commitment!
  5. Be proactive and set yourself SMART goals - These smart goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timed
  6. Follow up! Take notes in the meeting, and write those up and send them to your Manager after the meeting. This shows you have been engaged in the meeting, it helps with future meetings as you can refer back and look at the goals you have set together, and it shows that you are proactive and ambitious.

Once you’ve followed up – make sure you don’t forget about those goals that you’ve set yourself, go out there and achieve them! The more proactive you are in setting goals for yourself, the more likely you are to achieve them and move forward and progress in your career. You are the master of your own destiny, by working hard, being proactive and showing ambition, you are setting yourself up for success! Don’t be reactive, this is the major difference between great, successful people – they are self-sufficient and easily promoted above others! You’ve got this!