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3 Meetings to Increase Manager Performance

People Leaders very rarely have just one function. Most often, leaders wear multiple hats, and are responsible for a number of different functions beyond only leading their team. Even for the best managers, time often gets away from them, and priorities can slip. Setting these 3 weekly events consistently will improve your ability to lead the way you want to, and make the most of your time throughout the week.

The Personal Planning Session

Meeting Type: Individual

Length: 45 Minutes

Purpose: Set the Direction for the week

We have all had that week. The one where we start with great intentions, but then we get a fire drill, or an employee puts in their notice, or a big customer cancels. And all of a sudden, it’s Thursday afternoon and you’re not sure what you’ve accomplished.

Setting aside time and honoring your own calendar is a good start to ensuring you stay in control of your week. In the Personal Planning Session, you’ll set your priorities, complete pre-work for other meetings, and calendar any open projects you need to work on.

This session should take place early in the week, preferably Monday morning (for those of you who work M-F). Set this meeting to recur weekly, and set all availability statuses to focus time, or an appropriate status that indicates you’re heads down, doing individual work during this time. It helps if you’re able to work through this time before other meetings start for the week, or even before coworkers start to reach out.

During this time, you’ll work through any carry-over items from the previous week, plus gather all appropriate pre-work for the upcoming week, allowing you to set and send agendas for your meetings, and be prepared to maximize your 1:1’s and Team Meetings.

Start by making a list, reviewing past meeting notes, and reviewing in-progress goals. If there are urgent action items or high priority, high impact projects to complete, add those to the meeting agendas for your week. This is a great opportunity to double check that your efforts and projects align with the personal, departmental, and organizational goals that have been set.

Once you’ve established the best topics for discussion in 1:1’s and meetings, update the agenda and send it to the attendees for review and prep. Don’t forget to pace the items by setting a rough timeframe for discussion, so you leave room for all the important topics, plus a few minutes to connect on a personal level during the meeting.

The Personal Development Session

Meeting Type: Individual

Length: 20 Minutes

Purpose: Find a Way to Develop Your Skills

Very often in the flurry of a busy week or month, we don’t set aside time to invest in our own skills, abilities, or career. The to-do’s get the best of us, and over time, we miss an opportunity to consistently level up ourselves.

The Personal Development Session is meant to deliberately block time for you to focus on you. If you want to become a stronger leader, perhaps there are books or online courses for you to review. If you want to grow your domain expertise, or learn a new skill, maybe there are articles or workshops you can revisit. Additionally, maybe there’s a new creative project or skill you want to learn more about, which perhaps doesn’t pertain to your current role. Find time to stretch yourself, keep your mind sharp, work on mental health, or find an outlet for your creativity. It’s important to put a few minutes into your week for YOU.

The Weekly Recap Session

Meeting Type: Individual

Length: 45 Minutes

Purpose: Advocacy and Alignment

Sometimes it’s hard to see what we’ve accomplished when we’re buried in projects and meetings, but recognizing progress and reaching out for assistance when needed is important.

At the end of each week, take a few moments to send relevant updates, highlighting achievements, confirming alignment, and asking for help where needed. Communication should go to your team, your peers and your boss, but be tailored to each audience. This can be done via email, slack or teams, or some other way that is agreed upon within your organization.

Communication to your team should highlight and praise big efforts and results of the week, remind them of the bigger picture goals, and inspire them (maybe with encouragement to unplug during time off and return ready to achieve big things). If there are looming deadlines, this is a great time to send a quick reminder. This is also a great opportunity to acknowledge any personal events that team members have shared. For example, if someone is getting married or taking a long-awaited vacation, wish them well. Relationships are so important, so don’t let an opportunity to build connection with your team go to waste.

Communication to your peers should focus on the shared goals and projects you have together. Keep updates relevant, concise, and high level, while giving the opportunity to dig in, if needed. This keeps departments aligned and strengthens the overall organization. Alignment is critical to momentum, and this communication can go a long way to ensuring everyone is rowing in the same direction.

Communication to your manager should focus on 2-4 bullets of big updates. If you hit significant milestones, have obstacles to remove, or need to advocate for your team, this is your chance. Your manager will appreciate being kept appropriately informed, even lending confidence to your leadership skills.

It is possible that this weekly communication and recap session is the most powerful tool in your ability to advocate for additional growth in your organization. We recommend prioritizing this 45-minute weekly time slot for your continued development.

We know that 1:1’s and Team Meetings are important. We talk about those specifically in separate articles. But these three meeting types, all of which are individual, can supercharge the rest of your week, keep you on track, and build momentum for you and your team. We also understand that things creep up and get in the way sometimes. So as you’re planning your week, if you miss a session, don’t give up. Restart when you can and keep moving forward.

Do you have best practices to share? We'd love to hear from you at

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