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Managing to Make a Difference by Larry Sternberg

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Chapter 7Prioritize One-on-Ones

This chapter begins with a simple but profound lesson:

You can verify this insight by thinking about your life experience. This is how mentoring works. This is how sales are closed. Think about the last conference you attended. Did you derive more value from the keynotes and breakouts or from one-on-one conversations with the people you met at the conference? Think about how things get done in your organization or in your life. In your experience, do you get better results and get them faster from one-on-one conversations or from group meetings?

We invite you to review how much one-on-one time you are investing with the people you manage. And most important, we invite you to review with whom you are investing this time. Are you investing enough one-on-one time with your direct reports? With top performers? With others who are important to the organization?

Unfortunately, most of us are too busy to rely on happenstance to present enough one-on-one opportunities. We have to be more intentional. We have to schedule them. Changing your routine in this way might require you to eliminate some activities to make time in your schedule for one-on-one meetings.

Here is the payoff, though. You powerfully demonstrate to the other person that he or she is significant to you, you enrich your relationship, you enhance engagement, you learn more about people's individual aspirations and needs, ...

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