There are so many people in the church, the workplace and the community who feel that their concerns and issues are being ignored. Based on my experience, I believe the most effective way to deal with people is a one to one conversation. This may not be ideal in a large organization, a large church or a large country as you may not be able to reach everyone in a reasonable time frame but I know it is very effective. Despite the size, leaders should still aim to conduct one to one conversations even if takes several months or years.
In 2006, when I became the CEO of Cable & Wireless, Turks and Caicos, one of the first things I did was to have a one to one conversation with each employee. I documented all of their concerns and tried my best to address their concerns during my tenure.
You see during staff, church and community meetings, some people are intimidated and may not express how they feel and most times, it is just a few people controlling the meetings with their opinions. Therefore, if we can reach people on a one to one basis and address their concerns, it can transform your church, workplace and community into a positive environment.
How to conduct a One to One meeting?
The first thing you to do is schedule a meeting on a one to one basis and give adequate time for the meeting as you don’t want the individuals to feel they are being rushed. Let them express their concerns and listen to them. Show them that you care by listening to them with a good eye contact. During the conversation, you may discover that there is some misunderstanding and so you should clear that misunderstanding immediately. If you know that you cannot address some of the concerns, be honest with the individuals. In other words, do not overpromised when you know you cannot address the situations. This is also your opportunity as the interviewer to express how you feel too. Sometimes, managers do not really tell their subordinates how they feel and they used the general meeting to throw shades at others when in fact the issue may only apply to one person.
During the one to one meeting, find out simple things about your colleagues like the birthday of that person and give them a personal call on their birthday to wish them a Happy Birthday.
After the meeting has ended, email the individual with a recap of the discussion and then do a follow up. Make sure you have address some of the issues before you do the follow up.
Benefits of One to One Meeting
There are many benefits of having a one to one meeting. It is more personal and people will feel significant to the organization or community. They will feel that their opinions matter.
Some people will speak more freely in a one to one setting and you may realize that there are issues in the organization that you were unware of.
One to one conversation will also increase trust especially if you do not disclose confidential information that your colleagues discussed with you.
One to one is the way to go. You will discover that you have many bright minds but they were just not given an opportunity to express how they felt. I encourage leaders in the workplace, the church and the community to conduct one to one conversations with individuals. It is one of the most effective ways to communicate and build up confidence and morale in the work place.