Many of us can identify with days packed full of meetings, projects, deadlines, putting out fires, and more meetings. In our mad rush we scarcely find time to talk to our team members. No, not issue instructions or inquire about deadlines. Rather, have a simple conversation to find out how they are coping with the job. You want to know what their successes are, and their challenges. Do they need support in any area? Perhaps mentoring, or training? Perhaps all they need is acknowledgment or a word of encouragement!
Days become weeks, and weeks become months without a personal encounter. Give your team members a few minutes of undivided attention ... formal or informal. This builds your rapport with your team and gives you a better understanding of the strengths and needs of your team. Some of the fires we have to put out could have been prevented if we were paying closer attention to our team, listening to them, and supporting them. I had a mentor/coach who met with me every week, as it was company policy, but it was more of a monologue than a dialogue. I learnt how to never treat my team.
How often do you have one-on-one time with your team members? Is it a monologue or a dialogue? Are your conversations routine or is there substance in your individual meetings? How often do your team members approach you for advice or suggestions?