What are you saying to a team member? You are not important enough, so you need to take these meetings exceptionally serious.

Hi there and welcome. It’s Kerstin Jatho here, a transformational coach who shifts people from languishing to flourishing. In this video, I want to talk to you about the concept of time with your teams.

Leaders are very much struggling to connect with their teams. And what they manage to do is hold the standard team meetings. But that we had before. In the hybrid workplace. teams want more. They want individual meetings with the leader, and I can hear you say; “Yes, I know, but I really don’t have the time to meet with each of my team members individually.”

What it boils down to is really your concept of time. The ancient Greeks divided time into two concepts: Kairos, which is the opportunity of time; and Kronos, which is clock time. Or as we would call it: calendar time.

Well, what we are working on primarily and chasing the whole day is Kronos. We work according to the clock, our calendars, our diaries, our meetings, and that makes us very drained and creates a lot of exhaustion.

The challenge here is for leaders to change their mind when working with their individual team members to think of Kairos time. What is the opportunity for me here when I connect with this individual?

So, connecting with your team has actually always been part of your role and your responsibility. However, now, meeting with them individually has become an extra addition, and that is something you really need to do every week. Not once a month, not every two weeks.

People are working in the hybrid world. They are not always at the office. You need to connect with them quite quickly to see if they’re okay. And it comes back to a prior video that I spoke about on checking in on mental illness and mental health and supporting them.

So, the tips I want to leave you with on how to embrace and bring in these quick meetings with your team are as follows:

Schedule 20 minutes coffee-chat meetings

Schedule 20 minutes, just 20 minutes, aside every day to have a coffee chat with one of your team members, and don’t make it more than two meetings a day with team members. That way, if you do that, you would manage 10 team members in a week and most leaders only have 10 or less team members in their teams.

Diarise the coffee-chat

Stick the meeting into the diary. So, diarise these appointments and honour them. Don’t move them around. That creates disrespect and means that you as a leader are not credible. What are you saying to your team member? You are not important enough, so you need to take these meetings exceptionally seriously.

Do not ask about work task progress

Also, when you’re having your coffee with the individual, don’t talk to them about work and follow up about their tasks and where they’re doing. That’s there for the standard weekly meeting. Really talk to them about how they are doing. What are the things happening for them? How are they doing emotionally? How are they feeling?

If action items come out of that and you need to honour them, then really honour them on time. And check in with your teams regularly, having these coffee chats is not unproductive time. It’s not a waste of time and you don’t have to go on all the fuzzy emotional stuff. But it really is about showing that you care about your team, that you want to connect with them, and that you want to see if they are really okay.

When you were in the working environment, you could perhaps walk the floor, as they would say, and see quickly if people are okay. But now with the hybrid world, you have to go the extra mile. It is part of your job. And yes, you do have to find the time. It is expected of you. And that will separate you on becoming an effective leader who will enhance team productivity, communication, commitment, and just being a high-performing team.

Thank you for watching. I look forward to connecting with you in the next one.

Over to you for sharing your comments and experiences.

What value have more personalised meetings had for you?

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

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