Leading people, whether it's an assistant or a large team, requires much more than assigning tasks. Creating a strong, healthy working relationship involves casting vision, mentoring, encouraging, and clarifying.
While it's best to weave these efforts into everyday interactions with your team, it's key to initiate and to schedule dedicated time for coaching each individual.
Now, I'm going to do something I rarely do and that's adding a meeting to your schedule.
And, here’s why adding this meeting will spell success for your entire team.
Many meetings are unproductive and don't result in any decisions or action taking place. However, one meeting I've found to be very effective is a weekly (or bi-weekly) one-on-one meeting with each team member.
These meetings are useful in several ways:
#1 - This gives your team members a chance to consolidate their questions into a single session. If you're constantly being interrupted by non-urgent questions, this can be a huge timesaver.
#2 - These meetings provide you with the opportunity to delegate, cast vision, provide direction, and get an idea of how each team member is doing (are they overwhelmed and frustrated or are they ahead of schedule and can handle more).
#3 - This serves as a good checkpoint for team members to provide you with status updates on their projects/tasks.
#4 - It facilitates two-way communication (you need to hear their feedback too).
Now, an effective one-on-one meeting won't happen by accident. It's best if you plan this out, so here are a few keys to success:
#1 - Get these scheduled for the same day/time each week. Consistency communicates the value you place on this time. Also, don't schedule an hour for this meeting. Schedule the meeting for 30 minutes and if you finish early, great that's more time for each of you to take action on what you discussed.
#2 - Have your team come prepared. Let your team know you want them to provide updates, bring questions, and offer solutions to any issues they present. In other words, they really do need to come prepared to the meeting.
#3 - Be prepared yourself! The day before, jot down a few questions or specific topics you want to cover with that team member. After all, you both need to be prepared for this to work.
If you're constantly being interrupted with team member questions, feel like they aren't getting as much done as you think should be possible, or want to focus more on developing each individual, then a regular one-on-one meeting could be a great tool.