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How to Have Powerful One-on-One Meetings

How to Have Powerful One-on-One Meetings


Hey, this is Dr. George Birnbach and I wanna talk a little bit about meetings, not meetings with everybody, meetings with one person, and how we can have more impactful meetings, one-on-one with team members. You see whether that’s an employee review, or it’s a performance evaluation.

When you’re meeting one-on-one with someone, you need to be able to make an impact. You see, most people inside of these meetings they spend a lot of time looking back on what’s happened since your last catch-up, right? And when I changed the structure of my one-on-one meetings with my team, it completely changed the relationship that I had with the individuals I was meeting with. And nearly all of them, made a point to tell me how much they looked for forward to these meetings. Can you imagine that, looking forward to a meeting?

Well, the first rule is we only talk about the practice specifically if we have time. And I know that sounds strange, because we’re having a meeting with someone, and we’re both working at this practice, but let’s face it, everyone knows that you’re looking at the business and they know, and you know that you know the statistics and we will talk about these things, but we’re always gonna start with a different vein.

We’re gonna start with, how are you? How are things going for you, right? Not how are things going, how are things going for you. Most of us use that language. Hey, how are you doing? But they don’t actually hear the answers. They don’t look and listen at the answers. You’ll be surprised how willing people are to open up about how the practice is impacting them, or how they’re feeling in that practice, if you just stop talking and actively listen with your eyes as well as your ears, just for a moment, just for a second, you’ll get a few stock answers like, I’m fine. And then ask again. I totally get that, but how are you doing really? How is the practice working for you? And how are you impacting the practice? How do you feel right now about what’s going on here? And that usually gives them a little bit of a shock, but it’s an important thing.

I wanna make sure everyone who works with me knows that I genuinely care about how they’re doing inside of this building, right? I wanna know. So they normally don’t just run on and on with that either. They’re gonna give you a clear answer, or they’re gonna give you some heartfelt language that you can then go and dive into a little bit.

Now you’re not a therapist, a counselor, a psychologist. If they have issues, they’re gonna handle them other places. But we just wanna make sure we start off this meeting, by letting people know that we care about how they’re doing.

Now, the second thing that I give in every single meeting, is feedback. If I’m not working closely enough with someone to have something useful to give them feedback on, then I’m probably not the right person to be in this meeting or to support their development inside of our practice. So if I’m paying attention to how they are, and I’m paying attention to how the practice is, I can usually provide some effective, some quality feedback, some heartfelt feedback to them on what I think that they could do to do a better job make things work easier, become more beneficial to the practice.

So feedback is something I never miss out on giving them, but it’s also, it doesn’t have to be massive, and it doesn’t have to be negative. It could be positive feedback. Tell that person what I liked about something that they did. You could suggest that they may try a different approach next time.
“Hey I saw you had a rough situation with a patient, maybe next time you try this approach.” You see, we could give them some supportive feedback as well. It doesn’t always have to be correction, but whatever it is, be specific and be constructive, right? Remember that feedback is a two-way street. And we want feedback from them.

One of the things I started doing is I challenge the team member to give me feedback too. And trust me when I tell you you’re gonna start this, and the first thing you’re gonna hear is, nah, nah, nah, everything’s fine. You’re great. Love the place. Everything’s perfect. But I don’t give in on that. I just wanna say what is something that I could do better? What’s something the practice could be doing better. They might say they like the way we’re doing these meetings. They might say they like the volume or the energy of the office, but I want something constructive. What can, what do you see that we could improve on a little bit? And the reason is this, number three, is that every day is a school day. And I ask people that, what are you learning that’s new that can help us, right? Have you learned anything new?

Now, it’s, sometimes it’s a slow start, people don’t feel that they have a trusted voice, and they don’t wanna be caught into a complaining session with someone they work for, right? But I really do believe that training the individuals on the team to realize that every day is a learning experience, their feedback matters because they can give it to each other.

They can give it to me, and I can provide it to them. Their team members can then learn to trust their own voice and provide feedback to the people they work with.

I really believe that this can give you a 10X way to bond this team as strong individuals and you can develop together. So asking that one question, right?

Asking that one question of how are you? Or asking them for feedback, or asking them what they learned, that’s gonna make an impact. And so the last thing that you should ask yourself, after every meeting is, did I make a difference? Did I make a difference? Because quite honestly, if you ask yourself that question, you’ll have a good feedback loop to go back and strengthen your one-on-one meetings with people.

It’s gonna be a fantastic experience moving forward. Build a better culture, you have a better practice. All right?

My name is Dr. George Birnbach. I’ll talk to you real soon.

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