As an employee, a “one on one session” is vital for many reasons, from the personal connection to strategic alignment and guidance.
1. Time with your boss is quality time.
If your manager is a great manager, you will believe that your time with him will help you succeed in your job. Fundamentally, you want to progress and be successful at your work. That gives you meaning in what you do; it even gives you a reason to get out of bed in the morning… apart from the money.
If you have a great boss, their job is to help YOU be great too.
2. You can establish a personal relationship.
The best people I have worked for always spent a little time getting to know me. I was never someone to expose my deepest personal secrets, like my stag party in Amsterdam, but I was willing to share my hobbies, interests, and family stories. And frankly, that is enough.
Your boss is not interested in the argument you had with your partner, but they should be interested in your general wellbeing. Your manager is not your best friend, but they should be a trusted colleague and a professional confidant.
3. Get direct, honest input from your boss.
If you are struggling with a situation with a customer or your work colleagues are giving you hell, you should feel free to discuss it with your manager.
If you are in a position that requires you to make many decisions, and you are unsure of the right direction, you should take your time to walk through the decision-making process with them. It will allow you to see how they think and enable you to make more confident decisions in the future.
4. Demonstrate your good decision-making and work ethic.
As you make better decisions in line with your manager’s direction and vision (if they even have a vision), you are actually demonstrating your ability to operate with more independence and empowerment.
This means you move away from micro-management or being overly supervised to be a trusted member of staff.
Being highly trusted in a team and organization paves the way to creature comforts like working from home a few days a week or even being a backup for your boss when he is on holiday. Being your manager’s stand-in is the first step to promotion.
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5. You get to challenge your manager’s decisions
The best place to challenge a decision or direction is in a one-to-one. There is no point in being an aggressive leader of the resistance in a team meeting and being a pussy in a one-to-one.
Hammer out your disagreements in private and be positive in a public setting, and you will be moving in the right direction.