Today’s guest blogger is Spencer Westley, former Humanergy intern and current thriving young professional.

A one-on-one – or a 1:1 if you’re trying to stay hip with the kids – is exactly what it sounds like. Meeting with a mentor, working on a project with another individual, or just having a quick five-minute debrief with a colleague – all 1:1s; got it?

I don’t know about you, but in my world, 1:1s are a part of everyday life, and lately, I’ve been noticing how they’re a great opportunity  to make yourself stand out! No, I’m not talking about using your half-hour of dedicated 1:1 time to bring the fancy project you just completed so you can impress your boss (even though that’s very appropriate in certain circumstances). I’m talking about the give and take relationship that you can foster during those interactions. Think beyond the obvious and realize just how much depth there is to a 1:1.

The give: In this time, you have the opportunity to give your boss, manager, coworker, mentor, etc. the affirmation that you’re not only a good member of the team, and you take your job seriously and wear your employee badge with pride. Did you just nail your project? Sweet! Go beyond the simple exchange of the assignment and talk about how grateful you are for the learning opportunity, showing how serious you take your professional development. Maybe talk about the challenges of the project and how you overcame them, proving your dedication to your work, team and the company. Perhaps bring up how much you enjoyed the project and how you can’t wait for the opportunity to do something similar in the future, demonstrating your enthusiasm for your work. Remember that you give so much more than the tangible in the workplace, and much can be translated from the attitude you have, the conversations you partake in, etc.

The take: Take advice. Take knowledge. Take the time to get to know the person in your 1:1 and form a relationship. This is opportunity to grow and learn from your peers and leaders. Remember that everybody has insights and advice to give. If you like what they have to say, implement it. If you’re not a fan of what they say, ask yourself why and grow from that experience too. People seem to forget than an opposing view can be just as beneficial as an affirming view from someone who agrees with you.

If you’re not finding yourself in as many 1:1 situations as you’d like, initiate them! Whether it’s your coworker or your VP, find out who wants and is willing to talk with you, and go from there. It will take a bit of courage to get the ball rolling, but in the end, it will be worth it.

Do you make the most out of your one-on-one meetings? How do you prepare for them? We’d love to hear about it below or send us a message.

(Please note that all thoughts and opinions are my own. In no way, shape, or form, do I speak for the Kellogg Company regarding their values, stances, etc.)


Photo from Dollar Photo Club