The Power of One-on-Ones

Tony Hargreaves & Andrew Melville – Managing Directors – Renascent

“I think the team value one on ones because they have seen that the feedback that has been dragged out of them through that process has been acted on. We had that formal process of getting the information from Peter, discussing the information and acting on it. Our staff really value it.”

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The Power of One on Ones – Allan Ferguson – Omega Plumbing

The way that Peter does one-on-one’s is far more involved and intense than the way I do it. I’ve basically taken Peter’s method and implemented in my business. So I actually do, just so you are aware I do roughly four one-one-ones in my business every single day. But they’re not quite the way Peter does them. Peter’s got one-on- ones that go for 30 minutes, 60, several hours. This is a different level of intensity, and in my business I try to do a one-on-one four days out of five with all of my key leaders. And I’ve got roughly four people. I don’t get five a week, but I try to get four one-on-ones with each of them a week. And they can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes in duration. Because when you’re doing them that often, there’s not that much more the new stuff. I follow a slightly a different template, but I actually teach other companies, because I actually do coach, I have coaching clients myself, and I do share with them the full principle that Peter recommends. But, I only use that for more, I don’t do that in the day… I find the shorter consistent one-on-ones are working very well for me. So I am a big believer in them.

Joana Bonto – Global HR Director – Excite Holidays

“Before being led I would have rated my connection strategies a 4 or 5. They now are a 9 or 10 because I really use what I have learnt from Peter to really get the best out of people when I speak to them one on one. The one on one’s encompass all those other things for us as a business. For me when I first joined the business that was ultimately what allowed me to grow within the business as a leader. The influence Peter had not only over me, the Owners and Directors and then replicating the one on one process with the other Business Leaders has grown the business. We have got some much information, so much value. It’s invaluable for our process as a business. It’s incredibly powerful and I think no business will be successful without something this powerful.”

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The Power of One on Ones – Joana Bonto – Excite Holidays

The one-on-ones encompass all those other things, for us as a business. For me when I first joined the business that was ultimately what allowed me to grow within the business and allowed me to grow as a leader. The influence that Peter had not only over me, the owners and directors but then replicating the one-on-one process with the leaders.

We have got so much information, so much value. It’s invaluable for our process as a business. He has come in and really – I think he sat down and did 400 one-on- one’s or more with our staff … actually 600 one-on-one’s with our staff and that’s incredible. Although managers and HR people and whoever should as leaders, us as leaders, should be doing these one-on-ones, he’s allowed us to be more dynamic because he takes that one-on-one process and it really gets into the issues of the business and the crux of the business and allows us to see things that we don’t see as a business.

We take what he’s done and really get into the micro of it. We can then go okay what are the issues, have that communication, that direct communication. The value of that … it’s really, really invaluable for us, because that allows us to be lead, it allows us to lead the vision; it allows us to increase our influence through the one-on-ones with our staff. It sets clear experiences and expectations and it helps us develop our people when we have those one-on-ones. It helps us to be a unified and harmonious team because with those one-on-one we sort issues out, we go through things, we provide feedback and it provides the family, loyalty, integrity, trust and unity because you are building trust, you are building that family culture where you are sitting down and thinking – hey, what’s the problem? What are the issues? I guess that integrity and trust with the employees – you are uniting employees when you are doing this one-on-one process, you are uniting the whole entire company.

So, I believe the power of the one-on-ones has been invaluable for our business. I think Peter has done a great job with extracting information and really trying to find out the crux of the matters that are happening in our business and we’ve changed our direction, our strategic goals and direction purely because of what Peter has taught in the one-on-ones or found out through the one-on-ones. Likewise, as leaders, when we sit down and Peter’s gone and we do the one-on-one with our staff it enables us to change our thought processes or our strategy to that employee, or that situation. It’s incredibly powerful.

In my own personal experience being here and having done HR for eleven years, I’ve seen the value of Peter purely because there is that open dialogue. I’ve dealt with major corporations, big businesses like Credit Suisse and I’ve done small to medium size companies like these start-up companies I’m in today. I’ve seen those kinds of companies grow from small to large even big large companies with a lot of policies and procedures and planning works in place. I’ve never seen what Peter does in either a big corporation or a small corporation because it’s so unique. It’s so unique and powerful in that you are investing a lot of your time, money, energy and resources into a leadership team and leadership culture.

I’ve always believed that it has to start from the top. You want a successful company; you’ve got to have successful leaders. You want to influence your team you’ve got to influence your leaders. I’ve always said monkey see monkey do. I’ve always, really, really found it incredibly powerful if you really solidify your leaders and give them all the tools and resources and arm them with everything, the motivation, the one-on-ones, the FLITU principle, all that kind of stuff, all those leadership discussions that Peter teaches us and all the different principles that he teaches us – we are arming them to go out into the workforce and become better people, become better leaders – on and off the field. I haven’t seen that kind of investment in a leadership culture in any other companies I’ve ever worked for.

I think no business will be successful without something this powerful.

To better understand the obstacles faced by the team, as I mentioned earlier, it just allows them to have a different forum to be heard. So it doesn’t take away from them being heard by their manager or certainly by HR but there are times where you might look at the same picture when someone else from the outside such as Peter, coming in he might see it completely differently and he might be able to instil his wisdom, his knowledge, his know-how and his influence to that staff member. In a different way that I myself from a HR perspective or even management and a leadership perspective could be different, because, we are in the operations.

So, I guess, it’s armed us with being able to have those one-on-ones with the staff where we have written formal documentation. Where we can go back and say hey, you’ve written this and if they have said something we can go back and say hey, you promised us to do this. It arms us and equips us better. It allows us to go okay, well these are the issues, let’s tackle them head on, let’s face it, let’s not hide from it or shy away from it. It’s documented now, let’s face it. Whereas a lot of other businesses would sort of sweep it under the carpet or just not even address it and you can’t have a successful business when you are not addressing issues.

I think, for me personally and professionally, I use a lot of the principles to ensure that we hire the right people. I look at the different dynamics in the business, I look at Peter’s Personality profile test that’s he’s provided us with, I look at the way that we recruit, the way that we influence the recruitment process even certainly to a degree the way that I question in the interview process. Talking to the staff on a one-on-one process, I use a lot of Peter’s words, Peter’s teachings I guess and principles and it’s enabled us to steer away from “the bad eggs” and to kind of Peter talks about the heart condition and I’ve always believed in that as well.

He always used to tell us about harmony and talking about unity and harmony – heart and spirit. For me I call it the heart condition, if an employee is completely sold out you look at the heart condition first of all and I use that for my personal life. You never look at somebody’s exterior you always look at their heart condition and although you can’t see the heart you can see the heart condition through their actions, through what they say and what they do and what they follow-up with. Peter’s principle is very similar in that it’s all got to match and that sort of spirit and harmony within the business. I feel that! So, when I see someone that is not taking on board certain principles or not doing what they are supposed to be doing or is a bad or rotten egg you can feel that and we try and tackle that straight away – through the one-on-ones. We quickly see that within the three to six months and Peter has allowed us to do that through the one-on-one process and that is sort of how powerful it is.

There is one employee that really loves the one-on-ones. He didn’t have them in his previous role. He’s a gentleman here; he loves the one-on-ones, having the one-on- ones because it really gives them the direction. Some staff are too shy to even go to their manager sometimes. When they do a formal process of the one-on-ones it really opens up a lot of doors where they are kind of bottling up all this information and too scared or afraid to say something and all of a sudden they’ll just have verbal diarrhoea and let it all out in the one-on-one. Again, a very powerful, valuable tool where the manager is sitting there and saying okay great, we need to do these one- on-ones regularly so that you can speak to me formally more and more.

He’s grown so much as well. He used to be very shy and now he’s come out of his own. His leader hadn’t done the one-on-one process before and that’s also allowed her to grow as a leader and to become a better person. She was extraordinarily shy and didn’t talk to anybody and now she’s leading and they all love the one-on-one process and you can see this kind of cycle where they are growing as people and as leaders. It shows that through the power of these one-on-ones they are not only getting edified, they are getting respected, they are being heard, it’s allowing them … giving them really confidence and self-respect.

With the power of the one-on-ones we can see which staff are extraordinarily happy and which staff aren’t so happy. If they are not so happy then we work towards what the issues are and again that opens up transparent communication. We can say hey, if you’re not happy about something let’s have it out on the table. With the ones who are happy we can say, okay let’s see how we can build on that, how we can grow on that, how we can keep you happy – what is making you happy, what is keeping you here. So it’s kind of a double edged sword, it allows us to see why they are unhappy and it allows us to fix those problematic issues and concerns that people have and why they’ve become unhappy and then it also allows us to ensure that we build and grow. You can’t always remain stagnant. You have to keep them stimulated, you have to keep the evolved, you have to keep them growing. Everybody wants to grow. So the one-on-one process allows us to do both things at the one time. Retain staff, find out what the issues are and eventually if they are not happy the go. For us, we want to retain staff because of this leadership program.

I have regular one-on-ones with Nic, sometimes formal but more so informal than formal. Look I’ve absolutely grown with the business. I’ve not only grown professionally but certainly personally. I see that more because of Peter. Because, he’s helped me with my personal life, trying to grow as a person and make me a better person and given me a little bit of a sense of confidence in my ability and within myself. He’s shared a few personal things that really touched me and it really allowed me to respect him a little more I think.

With myself and Nic I think, I just can be open and honest and I care about the business so much and I care about the owners so much and I don’t want them to fail, I want them to succeed so the best thing I can do is be honest with them. The one- on-one process has let me have that ability.

I’ve always had a strong relationship with all my bosses, but I’ve never had this kind of forum in terms of leadership before. This is probably the best forum with leadership growth, with professional and personal development, with time and one on-ones with the owners and my bosses. It has meant that I’ve been able to really, really be led by them and to also lead them really strongly on HR things and putting my foot down and leading them. That’s what they hired me for to lead them on their people strategy. I look after all their people globally so I need to be able to lead them strongly and I was taught that by Peter and I think that I wouldn’t have been able to have that confidence to lead them strongly and vice versa. They lead me and give me the direction and they cast the vision to me. All this gets done through one-on-ones.

Honestly, as I mentioned earlier, if I hadn’t done this whole entire one-on-one process or even being allowed to be led by the owners or Peter, I am quite a perfectionist. I’ve always had issues with my personal life. I’m not very good with commitment or relationships. I’m very good with my work life, I give a 120 million percent to my work life and I’ve got a daughter so another 120 million percent goes to my daughter, who is four years old. It’s just allowed me to be a little more balanced. Not really work/life balance. I will always be passionate about my work and always give my 120 million percent to my work. Peter has been leading me in that regard, in my personal life … just opening my heart to other things, which has allowed me to lead my daughter and be a good example to my daughter. I actually use a lot of his principles with my daughter. Peter taught me how he is as a father and I love some of his principles and what he teaches his son and I actually try to do the same thing and replicate that with my daughter and try and do the one on one process. When I left for Greece for work, I actually left her little notes which Peter told me to do – leave little notes. He said the value of writing something in a note is so important. I try and do that with staff and staff recognition here and I try and do it at home.