How Restructuring Your 1:1s Can Take You From a Manager to a Leader
Reading Time: 14 minutes
Overview: Lindsey Boggs Digital Sales Manager at Citrix gives specific tactics to improve your leadership through better One on Ones and meetings.
About the speaker: I am a sales leader with experience with all types of companies from startups to Fortune 500 companies. My career in sales started at Bronto Software (an Oracle company) where I quickly rose to the top making President’s Club the first year and became a “social selling pioneer.”
Using LinkedIn to prospect became my gold mine and secret sauce and my strategies and tactics were picked up across the country where I was able to grow my personal brand on LinkedIn and ultimately got LinkedIn’s attention.
I have held workshops and helped companies like Oracle, LinkedIn, IBM, SAP, American Airlines, NetSuite, Bank of America, Cisco, Intercontinental Hotel Group, and dozens more with prospecting, social selling and personal branding. I have also been a featured keynote speaker with Gary Vaynerchuk and been featured in Forbes.
Hi, everybody, my name is Lindsey Boggs. Thanks so much for joining me today. I’m really excited to walk you through some things that I changed in my one on ones and staff meetings that earned me a pacesetter award at Citrix. But also give you some items and takeaways on how restructuring your one on ones can help you become a better leader.
So I’m going to go forward and introduce myself a little bit. Again, my name is Lindsey Boggs, I have been at Citrix for almost three years. Which is really exciting. It’s a great place to be, and I’m really thrilled to be there. Next thing I wanted to point out is I’m a social selling evangelist.
So some people call me a social selling pioneer. I was doing social selling long before it was a thing. And that’s kind of what I’m known for in the industry is being a social selling expert. I also coach on professional branding. So if personal branding and professional branding is something that’s important to you, that’s something I coach on and coach my team on every single day.
I am a co founder of a nonprofit on mental health. So mental health is really important to me. And if you learn more about my story, you’ll understand why. I am also a TEDx speaker. So one of the articles I wrote on LinkedIn went viral, and TEDx wanted to learn more about it. I did a TEDx talk in 2018.
If you google me, a couple of things will populate. One of the things will be my free throws with Shaquille O’Neal, which happened in 2015. Which kind of set my career off. So that’s why it’s really important to always be branding yourself. And finally, I’m a wife and a mother of two. So that’s a little bit about me, here’s my QR code. If you want to add me on LinkedIn, feel free to go ahead and add me.
When I was preparing for this presentation, one of the things I reflected on was my sales career. I’ve been in sales for over a decade, which is hard to believe when I say it out loud. And 45% of my time has actually been as an individual contributor where I have had a quota, close deals. I’ve been an enterprise sales director, things of that nature. Then 55% of my time in sales has been actually a leader.
So from a team lead to then a director of sales and operations. Now I’m in corporate America, and I’m a sales manager. Over half of my time has been in leadership. When I think about leadership. I’m consistently reading books about leadership, because I want to be a better leader.
One of the books that I stumbled across was called trillion dollar coach. And it had such a profound impact on me last year that I’m going to be referencing that book a lot in today’s webinar. When I was reading this book, last year, right around the pandemic, when it first started. This quote really stuck out to me.
So it says, have a structure for your one on ones and take the time to prepare for them, as they are the best way to help people be more effective and to grow. So when I read that, quote, I was really reflecting on my one on ones and thinking, I wonder how my one on ones are in the eyes of somebody that works on my team. I started writing down things that I do and things that I don’t, and reading this book really sparked me to get it together.
So if I look at what my one on ones were like, prior to June 2020, when I made the big change. I had a weekly recurring calendar invite for every single person on my team. I lead a team of between seven to 10 people per month. And I don’t know if you’re in the same boat as me, but when you have recurring one on ones on your calendar, oftentimes things come up. You have to change the person’s one on one. So how annoying is it for the person on the receiving end to get a calendar invitation for another time every single week.
I was always having to change it or delete it and then send a new one. That was what I was doing before. I didn’t do a lot of prep before my one on ones. It was really rushing from meeting to meeting to meeting to meeting. Turning on my camera or in person running literally from meeting to meeting and looking at my calendar and figuring out okay, who am I meeting with next.
It was always a mystery who I was meeting with next. My agenda, I would say was pretty weak. Maybe I had something to cover, maybe I don’t, hopefully the rep has something to cover if I don’t have something to cover. My notes would be lost in a moleskin somewhere. Rip moleskin. If anyone can relate to me, I hear you, you’re not alone. That’s how I did my one on one. So they were not very effective, in my opinion. If I rate myself on a scale of zero to 100%, I would give myself around a 45% on giving two way feedback. Giving feedback and receiving feedback. Also recognition was kind of down as well.
As you know going into a remote workforce with COVID you have to be adaptable, you have to be able to still find ways to recognize and so I wasn’t doing that very well. What happened was, I was reading this novel, this book. And I started Googling things like constantly googling things, how to how to create better one on one. Software for better one on ones. Tools for better one on ones. Tools for better staff meetings. I kept googling, and googling, googling.
Finally, I found a company called work patterns. No, I wasn’t paid to say their name. I’m just happy to announce who they are, because they’ve helped me so much. So this company called work patterns I uncovered. They had a free trial. And I thought, you know what, they say that your one on ones are going to be better structured, they are pretty cool, in my opinion. I started trialing them. What I found is that my one on ones were getting a lot better. Here’s how I changed them.
The first thing that work patterns allows you to do is prepare for your one on one, I was not preparing for my one on one at all. Again, I was looking at my calendar invite saying, Oh, this person’s next, better go meet with them. But I wasn’t preparing for them. I wasn’t thinking about them in advance. This allows me to actually put questions on online and ask questions in advance, have them fill it out, and then allows them to ask questions for me as well. They have topics they want to cover. Less surprises if you get to your one on one.
Recognition, in a world of virtual, now, I’m being able to send a quick video saying like, hey, congrats on your big meeting that you booked today or congrats on this pipeline, or congrats on whatever. I send videos to them constantly, one on one and to the team, and integrates with platforms like Slack and team so everyone can see the recognition. Or you can just have one or one recognition.
I was not getting bi directional feedback, I was just getting giving feedback and I wasn’t getting feedback. Yes, you have platforms out there, that I’m not going to say you probably have implemented already that promote giving feedback. But now let people take advantage of it. Not a lot of people do it. This makes it really easy. And we’re patterns to actually get feedback, which I view as a gift. and collaboration. Collaboration with staff meetings, being able to be a part of the staff meeting when we get to that in a little bit. But being able to collaborate more.
I can assign tasks to them and work patterns. So if I think of, Hey, don’t forget to update this in XYZ, I can put a task in there, and it will give them a notification to complete a task. It’s very easy to use, and it changed my one on ones.
From that point on, when I started using work patterns, I began a new structure. And it was a perfect time actually, because I was inheriting a brand new team in July. So that’s when I first started using this. I figured if no one has been with me before, and they’re brand new, they’re not going to know any different. I started this in July.
So here are the tips that I want to leave you with for your one on ones. Preparation is key. And what I mean by that is, before I was scheduling recurring meetings every week, that would have to constantly be changed. Now on Friday, I look at my calendar in advance, and I scheduled bi weekly one on ones. The reason I do that, I’d rather spend a really good one hour meeting with my person on my team, then a half an hour of no structure.
Now, you can certainly do half an hour of structure if you’d like. But for me, it worked better to do bi weekly. So we have one every other week. I send a calendar invite the Friday before the meeting, so they know when it’s going to be then I send them over the question.
So if you see on the right here, you’ll see discussion topics. I always start with gratitude. I’m going to talk about that a little bit. But if you start from the bottom working your way up, what are you grateful for? My top three priorities this week are. How are you doing? I’m going to talk about that in a moment. Another topic: quota versus attainment. I throw out random ones, like what would your book title be to recap 2020. Or I’m having difficulty with or I’d like to learn more about. And so then they will add the subtopic. And they will actually write the answers to the question.
Then they can also put in questions as well or topics that they want to cover. It’s not just me doing it, it’s them collaborating with me on what they want to cover in their one on one because they’re one on one, it’s not mine. That’s what I think a lot of people have lost sight of that it’s their one on one. So let’s be prepared for it. What I ask them to do is fill out the answers to the questions at least 24 hours in advance. I have at least a day to look at the notes before I get there.
Then I read the answers the day before the one on one. I prepare for it mentally I read through it I see what they put in there. What you would be shocked to learn if I told you is that the question? How are you doing? When you ask that in person, remember back in the office, if you ask them person, how are you doing? A lot of people would just be like, Good, how are you? Or fine? I’m good, I’m okay. When you type out that question and put it in a platform like work patterns, you would be so shocked at how much they share with you on how are you doing.
A big tip I learned in the mental health world, from a good friend of mine Janel is, if you ask the question twice the second time, they’ll give you the straight up answer as to how they’re really doing. So if you ask the first time in person, how are you doing? I’m doing okay, no, really? How are you doing? Then they’ll open up but with work patterns and tools like work patterns. When you type it, you would be surprised how many novels I have received back on, how are they doing?
And so they’ll give you a lot more insight into what’s going on in their life. They’ll give you a lot more insight into what’s going on, personally, professionally. And so I’m a big advocate of this question. It’s a simple question. But it gives a lot of Intel into that.
From that, we have notes now. It’s not this moleskin that’s lost that I’ll never find the note again, it is in a platform where I can go back and refer to notes. The cool thing is that it back before using work patterns, I used to have my reps type up a recap of the one on one, send it to me.
I know that they heard what we talked about and then copy, our director. Now they can just export this or take a screenshot and send it to our director and copy me so that way they can get exposure into what they’re doing their one on ones. It’s fun getting recognized. People love that.
I’m going to show you a screenshot of what the recognition and feedback looks like. But getting feedback. Getting recognized is super cool. They can get a video from you or a GIF or GIF however you say it. Accountability. So being accountable to tasks so I can put tasks in there for them to complete. They can put tasks for me to complete like, hey, Lindsay, you said you were going to do this. Didn’t hear from you on that. Then there’s no surprises, which I really like.
So it takes the guesswork out of what you’re going to cover in your one on one because I know sometimes, as a leader, I think we go into one on ones kind of blindsided sometimes. And then Oh, I should have seen that coming. Well, you will see it if you prepare for it.
So that’s a little bit into that. Then for feedback, I believe it’s truly a gift. This is what feedback looks like. And kudos. So this is kudos right here. I give them kudos, I send them a video and actually transcribes what you say in there, which is pretty cool. You can give feedback you can give, Hey, I really liked that you are doing this, but I wish you would try this, that kind of feedback is, is in there. You’ll see your feedback, and kudos, you see goals and private notes as well.
Then here, this person gave feedback for me. It prompts you in work patterns to give your manager feedback every other week. It prompts them, hey, it’s time to give Lindsey feedback. What are you going to say? They said, I like that I did this, but I wish that I would do that.
That is going to enable you to be a better leader because your people are giving you feedback and you’re able to act on that feedback. So I believe truly this year, I have gone in this past year in 2020. I’ve gone from an OK leader to a great leader because of restructuring my one on ones. Reading that book restructuring my one on ones, and also tying in my staff meetings.
So it really made me reflect Okay, I changed my one on ones. Now let’s look at my staff meetings because this book about trillion dollar coach, I don’t know. When I look at my staff meetings prior to July of 2020, my agenda was again on my moleskin that no one ever saw. There was little collaboration in my staff meetings, very close ended statements. So I would give statements on what we’re doing what’s coming up, things like that. But very little engagement, I felt like I was just talking at people instead of engaging with people. I wanted to find that engagement. And one of the things that Bill Campbell talks about in this book, is start with a trip report.
To build and better relationships among team members, start team meetings with trip reports or other types of more personal non business topics. I start every meeting off now with a slide on gratitude, and a slide on a trip report. It’s really important to start that way. Because I really truly believe if you start off with gratitude, you’re going to have a great meeting. So every single meeting, I start with a deck. Before I never had a deck before it was just my moleskin I would just look up my moleskin. Oh, I see that we have to talk about this today.
Well, now I have a deck and I don’t want to scare you on how much time it takes. It’s not a lot of time that I spent on it because I just use the same outline every time but with different topics. My first slide is the agenda. My second slide is what are you grateful for? And I have everyone’s picture on this slide. And I go around the room virtually and I asked so and so What are you grateful for this week? What are you grateful for today, and they’ll tell me what they’re grateful for. I do the same. And it really starts off with great meeting.
Once you get into your staff meetings, again, I have an agenda Friday before staff, my staff meetings are always Tuesdays at nine. And I’ll have one rep on a topic that we’re going to cover. Maybe we’re going to cover leaving effective voicemails, and maybe that person had really great voicemails that week. I’ll have them lead the voicemail session. Now have another rep speak to the numbers on how we perform that week.
So I’ll give them a heads up, hey, here’s the numbers for the week, or they can pull the numbers themselves. Empowers them to do more and the staff and then just listen and empowers them to have a job and the staff meeting to participate in. Then I again, I start with gratitude and trip reports, bring in guest speakers, right? You don’t always have to be the same thing every single week, collaborate on the agenda, I always ask, hey, is there anything else you want to add to the agenda? And then I asked for feedback in a group setting.
But then they also give me feedback in the work pattern setting. So sometimes they don’t want to give feedback in person in front of everybody, which I totally understand. But sometimes they do. You’d be surprised if you ask that open feedback, hey, what can I do better my staff meetings. They will open up, they’ve told me what I can do better my staff meetings, and then close with a roundtable.
So I have a slide that says round table. And we just open it up for any kind of conversation that we want. Another tip that I’ll give you, and I’m closing out in a minute, is that usually Thursdays or Fridays, for half an hour. I do something called a log off, where we talk about everything but work and one person chooses the topic every week. So one topic could be what are you bingeing on Netflix right now? Or what’s your favorite moment in the holidays? What was your favorite holiday movie growing up, or what’s your earliest memory of Christmas or Hanukkah, and that has got my team so close together, we are a very, very tight unit.
I really do believe it’s because of how I structure the staff meetings that we have log offs, and our one on ones are effective. Because of that I’m proud to have received the Citrix 2020 manager pacesetter award at Citrix. I couldn’t have done it without reading that book without implementing work patterns. I hope that I’ve left you with some good tips to think about today as you go into your next staff meeting or one on one with your team.
And so the three key takeaways I’d like to leave you with. Number one, prepare for your one on ones, don’t just show up and be there. prepare in advance for your one on ones. It will change everything for you. Collaborate, don’t talk at your team, get them involved in your staff meetings, get them involved in owning part of the staff meeting. And then finally, always start your meetings off with gratitude that will set the tone for the meeting and you’ll find that a lot of things will flow better. And I believe you will be a better leader for doing that. So thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate it. Hope to see you on LinkedIn or any channel that I’m on. Talk to you soon. Bye bye.