Do your meetings with your team end up off track? Do you avoid scheduling meetings because they’re really not productive? If so, you’re definitely not alone. In this second installment of “Live Coaching with Kris”, I tackle this prevalent problem.
As I coach a listener about how to run a productive 1:1 meeting, clarity in business rises to the surface. When you’re running a business, clarity is necessary in every area. Clarity in job descriptions, roles and responsibilities, clarity in expectations and outcomes, and clarity in the direction each team member is headed. With these in place, meetings naturally become more focused. Couple that focus with praise and positive feedback, and you’ll soon be looking forward to meetings, rather than dreading them.
Speaking of clarity, if you missed the first installment of “Live Coaching with Kris”, I encourage you to go back and listen to it. In that episode, I advise around the common question: Should I Hire a Friend? Clarity is needed in that situation as well and I hope my coaching brings you an abundance of it.
“In my life, we’ve always talked about giving positive feedback as cookies, not crumbs… when you add detail, it really shows that you paid attention.” – Kris Plachy
What You’ll Learn
- Take the vital signs of your business
- Clarity and purpose
- The Employee Continuum
- Coach for growth
- Coach for engagement and retention
- Not coaching, employing management
- Give cookies, not crumbs
- 4 Guiding Steps:
- Ask for input
- Choose measures
- Decide frequency
- Determine direction
Contact Info and Recommended Resources
Connect with Kris Plachy
- Join Kris’ email list for valuable content by heading over to krisplachy.com and dropping your name in the signup box!
- Get FREE help for managing stress: krisplachy.com/overwhelmed
- Get How to CEO DIGITAL! This course is available for all entrepreneurs looking to increase their business mastery. Access includes weekly Q&A calls for additional help
CEO Immersion (aka How to CEO LIVE!)
Five full days of complete immersion during which you’ll be coached and advised, and you’ll develop every team system you need to have in place to build an amazing team. You, and your person that helps you with all this (your Ops person), will leave with everything in hand, built, documented, ALL ready to implement. It will be a week of not just learning about how to do things but having everything developed so you can implement immediately.
The week is scheduled for late August, in Scottsdale, AZ. You must be at 7 figures to join because the complexity of your team is important for this exercise.
Get on the CEO LIVE Immersion waitlist: CEOImmersion.com
Kris Plachy: All right, well, I’m super excited, we’re going to have our next podcast listener talk about her question for the day. So, welcome, I’m so glad that you’re here.
Guest: I’m happy to be here.
Kris Plachy: And what pray tell, is the question you’d like to talk about today.
Guest: So, just to give you a little bit of background, I’m a psychologist, and I own a psychology clinic. And so, I have a number of psychologists that work for me, and then I have two staff members that do my administrative work.
Kris Plachy: Okay.
Guest: And I don’t meet with them often enough, I think. And historically, I have met with them semi regularly, and I found that we would just go off on tangents, and our meetings were not productive, and so, I fall out of the habit of having the meetings, which I think are important. And so, I think I need more help in, how do I run these meetings? What would be the best outcomes for the meetings? And that sort of thing.
Kris Plachy: Okay, perfect. That’s a great question. And really, really norm common, honestly, it’s like, okay, I want to meet with him, but what do we talk about? And then it feels like we’re just wasting time, and we’re chatting, or like. So, let me just, if you don’t mind indulging me, I’m just going to ask you a few questions. That’s going to help us kind of get to a better answer.
Kris Plachy: So, you have psychologists who work for you, why do you have a psychology clinic? Why don’t you just work on your own?
Guest: I think I’m a natural leader, I love leading people, and I love supporting people and having a supportive and well-run workplace, where there is structure, but also flexibility, and I know there’s a lot of psychologists out there that they just don’t want to run their own business, and I love running my business. So, I feel like if we can match up, and then also help heal people…So many people need support and guidance and psychological help right now, so I love the idea of helping more people.
Kris Plachy: Okay, and when you bring people in, do you kind of coalesce them around a philosophy, as it relates to psychology? Or are you really running a building with different people who do their practice as they want?
Guest: The psychologists that I hire are independent contractors, and so, I am in Canada, so it would be the equivalent of 1099. They are able to run their practices as they see fit, but in general, we are a PTSD specialty clinic, we work with a lot of first responders, we offer EMDR therapy. And so, we have some general things that we all do, but we all have our own sort of special magic and how we do that.
Kris Plachy: Okay, cool. I had a therapist several years ago, who was so awesome, that was her specialty, and she was a firefighter in her previous life, and then she got trained. And so, she worked mostly with, again, I live in Northern California, where we have horrible fires, and anyway, she was super cool to work with, important work. So, the reason I’m asking you is, when… so knowing that you have independent contractors is good to know, because that relationship is a little different than an employee, right? It doesn’t mean we can, we would have less expectations, it doesn’t mean any of that. Like, you can have expectations for people who work with and for you, right? So, these are sort of a hybrid of that. And…
Guest: Can I pause and clarify one part of my question?
Kris Plachy: Yeah.
Guest: I actually meet with my psychologist regularly.
Kris Plachy: Okay, that’s good stuff.
Guest: It’s admin staff I don’t meet as much. So, my psychologist, I feel like that’s going really smoothly.
Kris Plachy: Okay.
Guest: And actually, the admin staff as well, I have very good systems and processes, and so, not a lot of things come up, but I know probably things are coming up that I don’t even know about, that I could help them through, and so, that is more of my question.
Kris Plachy: Oh, I’m so glad you clarified. So, let me ask you this then: do the people who are in your admin roles have job descriptions?
Guest: They do, but I could clarify them better.
Kris Plachy: Okay.
Guest: They’ve been kind of cobbled together, you know, my one office manager, she’s been with me since 2016. I think she’s amazing, and she does such a great job, but over the years, things have shifted and changed a lot, and so I probably need to bring it all together, and be a little bit more clear. But they do have job descriptions, yes.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, okay, and that’s really common, right? We find people that are amazing, they gel with us on a values, right? That’s why these relationships work out so well, because we can have the same goals, we have the same intention of the work that we’re creating in the world, the purpose of the work, and so, then if you say to your office manager, “Hey, can you start doing this too?” She says, “Sure,” and it just starts to be like a thing. Which all works out great until something in her life changes, and she’s moving to Ireland or something, right? And then you have to replace a role, and that you haven’t really identified it, you’ve built it around a person, right?
Guest: We do have an operation manual.
Kris Plachy: Perfect.
Guest: And so, she does the majority of the work, and then it was becoming too much for her, so, we hired another person, and so, the manual has helped her to be trained.
Kris Plachy: It’s great.
Guest: Yeah, everything’s like…
Kris Plachy: You were doing a great job. I think the thing about the one on ones is, you kind of get to decide, right? So, there’s really a few reasons why we do them, the first one is at the beginning of a relationship with a team member, it’s training, it’s onboarding, it’s connecting, it’s helping them learn things, it’s connect and making sure they’re following through, right?
We also can do one-on-ones with people because we want to, they have a fast-paced job, and we want to make sure that on a weekly, or bimonthly, I never say those things right. Semimonthly basis, we’re making sure that they’re on track, they’re trending towards any projects, any benchmarks, right? A lot of admin roles are quite reactive. So, it’s like, did the billing go out? Are the patients getting scheduled on time? Like, there’s a reacting to whatever’s happening with the client that then drives the admin’s work rather than some people have like a salesperson, as example, has a role that has to create and initiate, right?
And in those cases, we’re going to follow through with them in a one on one on how they’re trending towards a goal, right? I would imagine admin, at least with the clients I’ve coached to have similar businesses, it’s more making sure things are processed, procedures are followed, nothing’s falling through the cracks, right? And so we want to…
Guest: Every once in while they do.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, and that’s why we want to have a one on one, right? And I would just say, if you don’t have it, you want to look at, what are those—to use a healthcare analogy, right? What are the vital signs of your business? So, if any one of these vital signs dips too low, it could be perilous for the company, right? So, it could be like compliance, regulatory, billing, things that would have a significant impact on your business’s ability to thrive. And for whatever of those that your admin team is responsible for, I would make sure you have a very clear dashboard and a reporting structure.
It sounds like you have a lot of systems in place, which is great. And we just want to make sure we’re really looking at, like, is our AR where it should be, or all the pieces that I know you’re looking at. Because those are the little sneaky things that all of a sudden, we can realize there’s a pile of unpaid clients, and significant in terms of revenue, right? And so, if you don’t have a vital few with each role, then let’s get that in place. And it may be honestly that you just need to meet with them once a month. You don’t have to meet with them…
Guest: Yeah, it doesn’t feel like it has to be very often at this point. We used to meet more often just in a more flowy way, I probably should have structured it more in the beginning.
Kris Plachy: Well, maybe. Yeah. It doesn’t seem to not be working, right? Like I think there’s things we think we’re supposed to do, because we’re supposed to do them, and we don’t find purpose. And then there’s things we want to really look at, and say, oh, okay, I could improve that, and where I always see clients, especially where you are, where your business is doing well, you feel really good about what you’ve created. There’s always opportunity for growth.
And my preferences is a team meeting every week, always, what are we doing? How many patients are coming? What are the obstacles are we anticipating? Do we have any events coming up? Is there anything happening with the team, the psychology team that we should be talking about. Even if it’s a half hour, because what that does is it creates team. And it doesn’t have to be with your independent contractors, but with your staff, right?
And then maybe you have private calls or meetings with them individually once a month. And that’s where you’re looking at their role, their responsibilities, their dashboard, their vital view. And the other thing I would recommend, since you guys are so established with one another, is to decide if you would like to offer them some development, some growth. A lot of times a one-on-one can be 5 minutes of like a briefing of their stats, if you will, right?
And then it could be, what do you want to do? What’s your goal? Like what, what are you striving for? Maybe it’s not even a work thing. And what could you do as a leader in their life, as a mentor in their life to help them, to stimulate new learning, to stimulate new experiences. And because in How to CEO, we teach something called “the employee continuum”. And that’s my way of saying, we really have three directions we take with people.
So, everyone we hire, they’re all together, like, coaching and training, coaching and training, coaching and training, right? Everybody’s kind of there. But then we start to identify that we have people who are like rock stars, and they really want to grow, and they really want to do amazing things. So, those employees we coach for growth, for ascendancy, for opportunity. Maybe someday you don’t want to work, you don’t want to meet with patients, you’d like to have somebody who could kind of be the stand-in executive in your practice, and you maybe only work a day a week or something, right? So, maybe there’s someone in there that you could start to groom for that.
Then there’s people who, yeah, they don’t really want to grow, they love what they do, they’re just happy. So, those people we coach for engagement and retention. And that’s where we really explore their interests, and as a business owner, what kind of resources do you have available to support that for them? Is it education? Is it training? Is it a coach? Sometimes a lot of my clients hire coaches for their team members, because it’s great learning for them, it’s great support.
And then the other direction, of course, is people who are not performing, and that’s when we really apply to management principles that we teach in How a CEO, and that’s not coaching. That’s really like, “Oh, I gave you everything I could, and you’re not taking the wheels, so, now we got to really take it this way.” So, it sounds like with your staff, you at least have people right now who are engaged, they’re happy, so I would find ways to be an employer that is stepping up your relationship with them in other ways, and see if they’re interested, and that’s also something you can bring to that one-on-one.
Guest: Okay, I love that. I’m not doing the team meeting every week, so, just a touch base, it sounds like helpful.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, it does, and think about like, maybe even for your first time you do it, just ask them, what should we talk about as a triad. You said there’s two of them, and one of you. Yeah, what should the three of us talk about on a Monday morning, for a half hour, like what should we be covering together? And it could be a 15-minute huddle, or it could be a half an hour meeting. But in my experience, as long as the meetings have value, most people like that. And admin especially, because that’s their connection to the business, whereas your contractors, they may not be looking for that, right? They come in, they do their thing, they go home, and that’s okay, that’s totally okay.
Guest: Actually, I run an office hour every week with my contractors, and so, we connect, and often it’s just like, what’s going on in your life right now? That sort of thing. So, I could do that with my admin too.
Kris Plachy: Totally, I love that. Just to open door sort of office hours.
Kris Plachy: Because my brain always goes to, okay, well what does this look like when your business is twice the size, if you want it to be? And then we think about, okay, there’s going to need to be some dashboard measures that anybody could use to reflect on how well your business is performing.
Guest: Okay, I really have been reflecting on joining How to CEO, and I think that would be really helpful for me. So yeah, I have some dashboard measures that I keep track of for myself, but I don’t really share them with my team that much. And I think that would be helpful, just to…
Kris Plachy: Well, that’s that transition of like, solopreneur, entrepreneur, to really moving into CEO. And we all go through it, it it’s normal, right? I actually have a client who was on a call yesterday, and she has a mental health practice, she’s MFT. And she’s got like 18 people who work for her, right? And provide therapy. And she’s in that, she’s in that phase, like, just because she doesn’t want to do as much practice. And it’s always a little bit harder when I talk to people who can’t imagine that, but eventually it seems like most practitioners get to a place where they’re like, “Okay, I love what I do, I love what my business is able to do, I don’t know that I want to do it as much, and so then we have to build it,” which I would rather you start doing that now, even if you may not want to be in a different role in your company for another three, four years, that’s okay.
Guest: Yeah, I’ve already started that process. So, I only see clients every other week.
Kris Plachy: Perfect.
Guest: And opposite week, I do business related task, and it’s a beautiful balance.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, that sounds very simple.
Guest: Yeah, it works for me, it just keeps me clear.
Kris Plachy: I like it.
Guest: One thing that I think would be really helpful with this meeting is, I find I often talk to my staff if something’s gone wrong, right? And I feel terrible about that, that most of the time, I think they’re doing an amazing job, and yet, you don’t tend to just email, like, hey, you’re doing a great job most of the time, good, good work. But if I was meeting with them, I would probably communicate that better. So, that’s something I felt not good about for a long time, that I appreciate them so much, but I don’t necessarily tell them that enough.
Kris Plachy: Oh yeah, yes. It’s funny, I was coaching a woman, this was years ago, and we used to do, when I would work with companies, we would do 360 surveys, which are feedback surveys that go to everyone that you work with, if you’re in a leadership role. And one of the feedback consistencies was not acknowledging and giving feedback on performance, and like in a good way.
Kris Plachy: And so, I said to her, I’m like, “Well, why don’t you just make a note on your calendar that, once a week, you’ll identify someone on the team,” and she had a really relatively large team, right? And I said, “but you’ll identify someone on the team who’s gone above and beyond, like done something super cool, or consistently cool. And once a week you acknowledge that in an email.” I can’t forget, she said, “Do I have to do it every week? Can I do it every month?”
And it was just so funny, because there’s something really awkward for people about that. And part of it is remembering. And also, it is interesting, like it is weird that it doesn’t occur to us. And so, yeah, I would agree with you, if you, whether it’s the one-on-one, or even you just bake in like once a month, I’m going to kind of make a big deal out of something that happened. It really does go a long way. And in my life, we’ve always talked about giving positive feedback as cookies, not crumbs. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard that expression.
Guest: I haven’t.
Kris Plachy: I’ll use my kids as an example, right now, we’re in the process of packing up this house, because we’re going to move, and it’s awful, right? Trying to move, and so, they’re older, they’re 17, and so they’re really able to do things, like when we moved before, that was an impossibility. And so, they’ve been doing a really good job at like getting their rooms packed, and all these things, right? And so, I’ve been really working to remember to say, hey, thank you so much for how well you took care of this closet. Like, I love how you pulled the sweatshirts down, and you put everything in a bin, and now it’s all clean. And it’s so, it’s very substantial, versus, hey, great job.
Guest: Yeah, yeah.
Kris Plachy: It does, because when you add detail, it really shows that you paid attention.
Kris Plachy: And it is, I mean, you’re a psychologist, you know that, right? Like that’s people want to know that they matter.
Kris Plachy: And that they are seen, and they want that experience in an authentic way.
Kris Plachy: So, however that feels good to you, I would absolutely encourage you to do that, yeah, it’s great insight, yeah.
Kris Plachy: Okay, so a short meeting, talk to them, ask them what they think would be valuable? A little mini, maybe start some dashboardy numbery progress numbers that you’re going to look at. It can be the business measures, it’s just, which ones do they touch most likely. Or more likely, or more consistently. And then decide how frequently you think you need to connect with them, and if you want to start to integrate a little personal development into that experience.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, you’re coaching them, and focusing on engagement and retention, not necessarily performance, because performance isn’t an issue.
Guest: No, not really.
Kris Plachy: Which, when that’s happening, you know, we say a little pray, can you just say thank you for not having a team right now where there’s no drama.
Kris Plachy: Especially right now.
Guest: Yeah, there’s a lot of drama in the world and in the work world. Yeah, I feel very fortunate.
Kris Plachy: Yeah.
Guest: Yeah, I have, and I think that’s probably what’s stopped me from joining How to CEO, I’m like, there’s nothing on fire right now, but really, I should join and prevent things from starting on fire.
Kris Plachy: Well, and prepare. I think that the thing about…I was just having this conversation with myself before our call, and I was kind of ranting in my brain, I’ll be honest. And I think you might actually appreciate this in the industry and field that you’re in, because I believe that there are certain roles we play in our lives, that for whatever reason, there’s this collective belief that you should just be good at it. Like parenting, right? Like in my mind, we need some training to be good parents, like, I don’t doubt anybody else, but oh, heavens, it’s been like go, right? I mean, if it weren’t for people who’d come before me, and honestly, doing some of my own training, I would’ve failed miserably as a parent.
And the same thing to me is true about managing teams, and I think that it’s irresponsible to run a company, if you haven’t actually learned how to manage people. And I don’t mean that like judgmentally, I just think there’s so much, you could do so much better if you knew more, right? So, I was having…
Guest: Like we often fall into that role, right?
Kris Plachy: Yes.
Guest: And, I know how to be a therapist, but I don’t necessarily, haven’t trained how to be a manager.
Kris Plachy: No!
Guest: I just like hobbled together some skills, but…
Kris Plachy: Yeah, and you have natural leadership tendency and insight, and you understand human behavior, which listen, that’s like half the job right there, right? But yeah, but the fact that we expect ourselves to just be able to do it, is also, I think for a lot of people, setting people up to fail. Like, how about we just not expect it? How about we just recognize, “Oh yeah, there’s probably more I could learn here, and do better.” And I always think for someone like you, like you’re very well poised to grow, this is when you should be thinking about that. If everything’s rolling.
Guest: Yeah, that’s really where I’m at right now, is I want to expand and grow.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, this is a good foundation to do that with. I think it’s perfect timing. So, we don’t have to be in pain before we ask for help.
Guest: Yeah, good point.
Kris Plachy: We could just be a little bit like, hell, maybe I should plan ahead.
Guest: Yeah, preventative.
Kris Plachy: Preventative, yeah. But I’m so glad that you asked this question today, because I know a lot of people ask us in our program about what is a one-on-one, and why do I need to do them? And they’re kind of boring. Sometimes people, even who’ve been doing them a long time, they get stale. So, how do we shake things up? And small team, that can happen too. So, I think it’s an awesome question, and very relevant, and yeah, hopefully, you’ve got a few things you can play with today.
Guest: That’s super helpful, thank you so much.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, it’s so nice to meet you, and I’ll hope I’ll see you in How to CEO here sometime soon.
We have a lot of exciting changes coming up here at Kris Plachy Coaching Group. And I don’t want you to miss out. From leaving social media, to offering live interactions only to people on our email list.I want to make sure you don’t miss out. Head on over to www.krisplachy.com and drop your name and email in our little box there. And that way you’ll get all the updates well before everybody else and even updates that nobody else will know about. See you there!Download Transcript