It would be convenient if one-on-one meetings were somehow exempt from disruptions caused by the two participants. In reality, they aren’t. Whether pleasant conversations with people whose company you enjoy or tense conversations, one-on-one meetings can require you to manage disruptions.
Reality Check: Do you approach one-on-one meetings expecting an easy flow from one agenda item to the next? If so, read on…
The challenges that plague larger meetings can be equally disruptive to conversations—they just may surface differently in the smaller setting. For example:
In a meeting with greater participation, the group often calls attention to these behaviors by expressing frustration – loud sighs, eye rolling, or directly confronting the behavior that is wasting their time. When there are only two of you, your loss of focus may go unnoticed more easily and longer. When you get along well, unrelated topics may be more fun and interesting than the agenda. When you don’t get along, either of you may try to sidestep issues, deflect blame, avoid taking responsibility for action items, or withdraw.
Here are four simple strategies to ensure productive one-on-one meetings:
Looking for more guidance on boosting your productivity in group and one-on-one meetings? This post is based on Don’t Waste My Time: Expert Secrets for Meetings that Inspire, Engage and Get Results, which is full of tips and strategies to help you be more productive before, during, and after every meeting. A FREE pdf tip sheet to get a derailed meeting back on track: 4 Triggers of Disruptive Meeting Behaviors--and How to Deal with Them Positively and Effectively is also available. Check it out!
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