I have someone on the team who is always going on and on about personal drama in her 1:1’s. I’m finding it hard to avoid these conversations, but they really are such a waste of time. What should I do to fix this?

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A few things:
  • Do you have a set agenda?
  • Is it consistently the same each time you meet?
  • Is your employee responsible for sharing back her progress on her goals/actions/etc…?
Often this issue can happen when we over-indulge their issues and don’t direct the meeting to performance and outcomes. It also happens when the meetings don’t have a clear agenda and plan for discussion. Lastly, if you are ‘holding’ the agenda and the employee just has to show up, that allows for them to be sort of lazy in their prep and thinking about their time with you. Venting/complaining isn’t a useful investment in either of your time, so it’s important to practice interrupting their complaining and redirect to solutions. Lastly, watch what’s happening in your own brain. What are you making their complaining mean? Do you feel responsible somehow? If you do, you may be indulging too much as a result. Practice interrupting and redirecting. Ensure you have an agenda and hold them accountable to their own preparation for your meetings.
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