Can Team Leads do one on ones?

I am a Team Lead with a team of 4, soon to be 6. I would like to do one on ones with each of my team members and am in need of ideas to sell my manager on the concept.


My department is a 24/7 service center. We have about 40 employees, 6 Team Leads, one Supervisor and 2 co-Managers. I have twice proposed one on ones for the entire department when they were looking for ways to increase employee engagement. The idea was shot down because they felt that one on ones needed to be conducted by a supervisor. Having only one Supervisor means that one on ones are impossible.

I am considering proposing a one on one model that is 15 min for the team member, 15 min for me. I hope that by removing the last 10 minutes of the 10/10/10 model, I will remove any fear that I will over-step my authority. As a Team Lead I have responsibility to train, direct and assign work, quality check, deal with low level conflicts etc. but I don't have any input into future plans.

I am meeting with a Manager on Thursday to discuss this idea. Any ideas to strengthen my proposal would be much appreciated.

Thank you.


Yes, you can

You can definitely do one-on-ones.  Anyone who is responsible for the results (ie the behaviours) of others should definitely be building relationships with those for whom they are responsible, and it definitely sounds like you're responsible.

Personally, I wouldn't even necessarily get a manager's approval to do it -- although if yours is the sort of workplace where any sort of creativity and independent thought is frowned upon, or where the old adage "it is better to ask forgiveness than permission" doesn't apply, then it might be a bit more risky to "go rogue".

As far as ideas to strengthen your proposal, I'd just explain the reasons why you want to do them.  Depending on how much time you have, and how persuasive a speaker you are, I'd go over the three types of power, that you can't (easily) increase role power and expertise power, but you can improve relationship power with one-on-ones.  You don't need input into the company's future plans to do one-on-ones, and the standard agenda can still work -- "the future" isn't about the *company's* future, it's about the future of your direct.  Where do *they* want to go, and how can you help them get there?  I'm sure you've got more of an insight into what the company has and what it needs than your direct, so with your additional insight you can help them to develop the skills they need to go further.  At the very least, you should be able to help them identify what they need to do to get your job, if nothing else.

Thank you

Thank you for your ideas and encouragement. 

My manager is enthusiatic about the idea of me doing one on ones. Next she will take the idea to the rest of the management team and ask for their approval.  

Advice on how to make bi-weekly, reduced length O3s successful?

Any advice on how to make bi-weekly, reduced length O3s successful?

My proposal for O3s was given "pilot project" status. I will soon be allowed to conduct O3s with my team. Unfortunately, the management team will not allow me to meet for 30 minutes each week with each direct. They will only allow 15 minutes every other week. Is there any way I can improve the chances that this reduced length, bi-weekly meeting will improve our relationships?

Thanks for your help.

KDCY, What was the reason


What was the reason management gave your format vs the traditional weekly/30 minutes?

 I am very superised that senior managers would over-rule a junior manager's communications with his or her's own direct employees.

The reason

 I was told that it was just to much time to be away from "the work". My manager "had to fight" to get just the 15 min bi-weekly approved.