Managing is Like a Yoga Practice
Did you know that management is like a yoga practice. That's because there's not one thing you do as a manager and then suddenly everything is ok. Management is a series of small actions that you do. Some you do daily, some weekly, some monthly etc.
That's why management is a practice like a yoga practice. You do the work and you get the results It's not about being perfect. It's not about trying to fix everything in one go in the annual performance review. It's just about showing up with the right intentions and doing the work. What I'm going to cover in this article are some ways that a regular one on one practice is going to help you because of their rhythm.
One on Ones are the Heartbeat of Managing Because They keep Everything on Time
You know how things run behind? We get distracted, we forget. This happens to you and your employees and then next thing the important project is delayed and over budget. But regular one on ones keep you and your employees on time:
One on One Meetings Keep Your Employees on Time
It keeps your employees on time because let's face it even the best employees do better with a little follow up and positive re-enforcement. And your tardy employees need follow up like oxygen.
One on One Meetings Keep You on Time Too
And it's not just about keeping your employees on time, regular one on one meetings with staff keep bosses on time too. Let's face up to the personal responsibility we have as a boss to keep things going forward. I admit that without some type of drumbeat to keep things moving forward I let my perfection tendencies get the better of deadlines. Not to mention my own distractions and shoddy memory - I mean who are we kidding, we are probably just as bad as our employees when it comes to deadlines. Regular one on one meetings with staff are how I keep myself on my toes.
You Know It's True...
And you know it's true because: when I get an action from a meeting I have to admit that I hardly ever take care of it immediately. My excuse is because it seems like I spend my whole day rushing from one meeting to the next. And if you’re anything like me, far too many actions drift until there is a deadline. So you could say that meetings make work happen because there is a furious rush of activity and clearing off actions before the next meeting! It’s not an ideal situation and I’m not proud to admit it, but I know it’s reality for a lot of people.
Combining Business and Yoga
So my strange combination of skills is that I'm a yoga teacher and a chartered accountant. And to be good at yoga you need to be good at a bunch of different things:
- You need to be flexible,
- Have strength,
- You need balance plus focus,
- Awareness of your body and,
- Breath control.
And how you get good at these is simple - you have a practice. And in this practice you practice each skill and slowly get better at the parts and you get better at the whole.
So What's the Point?
But the point of the practice isn’t just to get better at yoga. The real benefits of yoga includes things like getting happier, less stressed, improve your health, to be more mindful, improve your confidence and connect better with others. Getting more flexible, stronger and improving your balance etc. are just consequences. And that's why the secret is just doing the practice gives results.
Essential Manager Skills
Now being good as a boss is similar, there are certain key skills you need to master. These skills are so important that I call them the Foundational Management skills. And the cornerstones in the foundations include such things like:
- Performance Communication,
- Employee Development, Delegating and,
- Building Functioning Relationships Through One on Ones.
And just like yoga, when you get better at these skills then you will be a better manager. And just like yoga the benefit doesn't come from being perfect, the benefit comes from doing the work. Because when you do the work you will get results and you will improve as I explain:
The Real Point of Your Management Practice
The real point of your Management Practice isn't just to get better at delegating and doing performance communication etc. These will happen. The real benefit of your management practice is to become more confident as a boss, to build better relationships, lower your boss stress and of course improve employee productivity and retention. And here the secret is that doing your practice is what produces results. For example when you first start doing one on one meetings with your employees, you will be a long way from perfect. You'll forget things, you'll run over time. But even a less than perfect one on one meeting is better than no one on one meeting at all. Because one on one meetings not only help to keep things on time, they fill in missing communication gaps, they build better relationships and so much more.
Tip: Improve Your Management Practice
3 Steps 2 easy 1 on 1's will show you how to get stuff done by having better one on one meetings with staff. And just like yoga class is where you go to improve your yoga practice. One-on-ones are a safe place for you to improve your management practice. (P.S - The complementary course includes a one on one template and one on one meeting invitation template.)
Secret Ninja Manager Trick - Time
Now Some managers think they don't have the time for regular one on ones. But that's like saying you can't go to yoga because you're too stressed. Yoga is the cure for stress and one on one meetings are the fix for managers who have too much to do.
The Secret Ninja Manager Trick is that one on ones save you time:
- One on one meetings with staff save you time because you do almost all of your management duties in one go
- One on One meetings will save you time because they help keep you and employees moving forward and
- One on One meetings will save you time because they will help you to keep your employees accountable for their work so that you can get on with your own.
When you miss them, you will find that you end up spending more time with lots of inefficient, unscheduled interruptions.
Tip: Train yourself and your employees to save non-urgent communication for the one on one meeting. Use this one on one form to write down your notes so that you don't forget anything
So I've given you a few reasons why one on one meetings with staff save you time and keep you on schedule. And I talked about some of the essential manager skills that bosses need to master.
I also shared with you that managing is a practice - what this means to me is two things:
The first is that we trust in the process. A single yoga class is not going to teach you how to stand on your head. And a single one on one meeting is not going to solve all your problems. Do your practice and the results will come. Each yoga practice will make you a little better until one day standing on your head will be easy. But the benefit isn't standing on your head, the benefit is each practice makes you stronger, more flexible and makes you feel better. Even if you never end up standing on your head, there's plenty of reason to stick to a regular practice. And it's the same with being a boss, every one on one meeting that you do is an investment in your future as well as will reward you with immediate results.
And the second is that no-one is perfect. When I first started one on ones, I was not very good at them and you initially won't be as good as you will get. The way to get better is the practice. And a Manager Zen technique that will help you mentally come to terms with this is that in the beginning you should expect imperfection.
PS: The comparison between yoga and one on ones doesn't end there. In yoga you get better results when your technique is good. You get better results when you learn from experts who have tried and tested best practice to share with you. This is why I have a free, online course for you to develop your management practice: 3 Steps 2 easy 1 on 1's is heaped with best practice and includes a one on one template and a one on one meeting invitation template.