How to speed chat your team to success


Getting enough time to your employees might be hard for any leader. A smart way to make sure you give them attention is to establish a monthly speed chat.

J. David Zacko-Smith @CatalyzedLeader
@FrodeHeimen But authentic relationships, crucial to #leadership, can’t be developed through “speed chats”!

twitterThe response was quick, and it came because of this:
Frode Heimen ?@FrodeHeimen
“Create a routine to speed chat one on one with your staff to boost morale. #leadership

I tried to keep it short – but I can’t so I won’t – This is how it goes:

  • Book 5-10 minutes with each employee once per month.
  • Ask: On a scale from 1-10 – how well are you doing?
  • Ask: On a scale from 1-10 – how happy are you at work?
  • Keep it on 1-10 – scale questions. No more than 3 or 4.

The positive lift.
If someone answer 7 – ask this: Why did you not say 5? The answer will be a positive focus: Because the coffee is perfect and so on..

The insight twist.
You said 7 – what can you do to get this up to 8 the next time we talk? Give them the accountability and freedom to go to 8 or 9.

The “dark side”
0-3 – You can pull a cramped positive lift, Why did you not say 0. But this is the warning signs. These low scorers – needs extra attention, so if you have a few hours for coaching – get them in it.
“I want to discuss this further, is it ok that we talk one on one about this at the [set date and time] for an hour?” and keep the speed chat short.

The appreciation
Now you have a window to let them know that you notice what they do. Give them a line of appreciation if you know one. Do not make it up. Skip it if you can’t put your heart to it.

The open faucet.
The reminder of the time is theirs. Let them talk about whatever they feel like.

There you go a powerful speed chat to ensure that your staff is happy and work against goals.

@CatalyzedLeader – of course spending more time, eating lunch with, talking to them when you can is crucial – this speedchat is a systematic approach to focus your staff on their own happiness at work. And it is a nice way to screen who needs more love from you too. It treats everybody equal and your staff will really love this short coffee break with you.

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2 Comments on "How to speed chat your team to success"

  1. FrodeHeimen | February 3, 2013 at 9:54 am |

    @Telebear Hi – all calendars can set an appointment in minutes. Depending on the number of employees, but all in one day, or spread them out. I tried my best not to re-book these meetings; if I had to I would talk with the employee first. This is for me the most important meetings I can attend. Remember this is one tool of many, not a complete solution. I will always book another meeting with the few that needs it. And you are right it is a temperature measurement – and higt performers, or those with high motivation keep their motivation high, and it is possible to find the people that need your extra attention. And then you bring coaching out of your toolbox.

  2. Do you really use only 5-10 minutes? How do you organize it in Your calendar?
    I think this can be a good temperature measurement, but how do you do follow up if an employee is not doing great, or is not very happy at work? Do you extend the time to talk about it?

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