A 1-on-1 meeting between staff and leader is a weekly face-to-face meeting used to build rapport for both professional and personal development. The key is leaders that listen and staff who set the agenda around what is important to them, it’s their meeting.

Know why you’re doing itBest Team Ever by David Burkus outlines three great reasons for 1-on-1’s. The goal of these regular conversations is to build the Kingdom culture that enables corporate performance. That means building people, not just performance metrics.

1)  Common understanding – We do want to be clear on communicating corporate goals, performance objectives, and individual responsibilities, yet listening is the most important part of leadership. Sympathy is when you feel sorry for what another person is going through. Empathy is when you feel what the other person is going through. Sympathy engages your head, but empathy engages your heart and builds Kingdom Culture. Kingdom Business is a culture of honoring people by taking the time to know what they carry and why they care. Kingdom leaders provide operational clarity and relational empathy, in the context of Living, Kingdom Purpose.

2)  Psychological safety – People will not take the risk of being great until they know how we deal with their flaws (and our own). Initiative and creativity are released in a transparent culture where mistakes are expected and leveraged as learning opportunities instead of fireable offences.

3)  Prosocial purpose – Corporate mission statements are typically only meaningful for the leadership team who create them. For everyone else they are usually somewhere between irrelevant and laughable. Staff are engaged by their purpose, not yours. Shared corporate purpose is the engine that drives the company, but our awareness of individual purpose and contribution is what engages people. Why we do things together is a great start, but who we help and stories of the difference we make for the people we help are the meat of motivation.

We need to connect the dots between Operational Excellence and Relational Connection to see the value in 1-on-1 conversations in business.
Our widget factory is staffed with people who are Father’s sons and daughters!

Creating Value – Business is creating value for customers in exchange for profit. That’s code for the ministry that resides in the purpose of a Kingdom Business. We use a Purpose Profile to help CEO’s get their prophetic Kingdom business purpose in writing. So, one of topics in a 1-on-1 is discussion of the shared Kingdom purpose, the prophetically correct call that is exciting and igniting enough to build Ecclesia around our shared corporate Kingdom purpose. Does our purpose resonate with our staff? Is our brand prophetically correct? We find out by asking God and we get confirmation by asking people!

Learning to listen – That’s intro. The second step in a 1-on-1 is creating space for people to be themselves, who God created them to be. We want to listen for their purpose, help them draw out their story and aspirations. We want to see how the purpose God wired into their hearts overlaps with ours. We want to put value on their purpose because it’s the engine that drives their performance and contribution to our shared corporate purpose. We want qualified staff, but more importantly we want them to work on their kingdom purpose with an anointing. We want what God can do through them, and so do they.

Permission to be Priestly – Most corporate business managers won’t touch personal issues with a ten-foot pole. They might be good operational leaders and not-so-good relational leaders. Kingdom business culture is fertile soil for transparency, growth, and a relational leadership style. Spiritual and professional growth become the same thing! Operational excellence and a Kingdom culture of honor become the same thing. Operational excellence flows from a connected heart, an excellent spirit, and the presence of God. People are the product of our business and growing them into their Kingdom purpose is our highest value.

  • People quite often don’t have a clear purpose they can put their finger on. It’s our job to help them discern their unique Kingdom calling, help them feel chosen by God and us. Help them hear instead of adhere, help them move from serfdom and servanthood to sonship.
  • The often carry accusations from the enemy designed to defeat their purpose. It’s our job to help take those accusations to the cross and release the decrees God is speaking over their life.
  • They have aspirations, but can lack discernment on where they came from, or which ones are shared by their Father. It’s our job to help them focus on the desires God wrote in their heart (what’s real) and help make their dream come true (Ps 37:4).

Tribe & Team – If the leadership team can lay the foundation for culture in 1-on-1’s, the fruit is collaborative momentum in business. People get on the same page with one-another and with God and become mighty men and women who do great things in the marketplace. The culture becomes contagious. The love, transparency, industry, and creativity are self-perpetuating when work is worship.

If you haven’t guessed by now, you put the Kingdom first by putting Kingdom culture in your business. That’s when your staff will see that the widgets get produced and the cash flow works. That’s when your Father will add all these things (Mt 6:33).

We help Kingdom Businesses find and fulfill their unique purpose while producing value and cash flow.
Axiom – Have fun, make money, love people, and build the Kingdom!

Get the Pulse of Your Staff Engagement in 5 Minutes

I partner with Larry and Teresa Nault (Buildingakingdomcompany.com). A New TTISI assessment tool was approved and launched a few weeks ago. Teresa is now Certified as an Authorized Consultant of this brand new assessment that measures 8 key factors of employee engagement. It’s the perfect way to objectively measure the operational and relational progress of your 1-on-1 sessions with staff… in 5 minutes. The 8 factors are also key topics that should come up in 1-on-1 conversations.

Larry and Teresa offer Christ-centered consulting in a community of inspired leaders. Their Mission is to provide Biblically based leadership development and comprehensive strategic planning to companies ​around the globe! Start the assessment process by contacting Teresa@talentselectllc.com; phone: (505)429-2987


Cutting Room Floor

Casey Brewer is a good friend with Betenbough Companies in Lubbock, Texas. They have used 1-on-1’s for a decade intheir home construction business with 400 employees. Betenbough is a stellar example of a Kingdom Business.

  • One arm of Betenbough is Kingdom at Work. They host a great workshop on Kingdom Business three times a year. I recommend it highly and have gone to Lubbock twice myself.
  • There is also a chapter in their Leaders Guide about how they implement 1-on-1’s for every employee. Two excerpts:
    • “Some workers prefer to administer; others want to love people. Only the latter are leaders.” – J. Oswald Sanders
    • The deepest craving of every human being is to be seen and truly known – and loved anyway. We crave for someone to know the real us, inside and out, and still accept us. We desire for someone to be fully aware of our strengths and flaws, and still believe in us and continue to see greatness in us. We may only have one or two people in a lifetime like that, but they’re the ones who make a lasting impact. Let’s be that for our people! They’re worth it!

I also recommend this video by David Burkas. The Text version is here. It conveys the spirit of this blog. Excerpt below:

Have each person on the team share with their teammates more about them and how they prefer to work. This saves time and confusion, and also helps reduce conflict, perhaps better than any over-priced personality test could.

One easy template to start contains four simple statements (the last 2 from John):

    • I am at my best when __________.
    • I am at my worst when __________.
    • You can count on me to __________.
    • What I need from you is __________.
    • My higher Cause/Purpose is __________.
    • My Dream/Aspirations are ____________.

Send these questions out and ask the team to ponder them for a while before sharing answers. If you’re the leader, establish trust by going first (more on that in Part Two). Allow time after each statement for questions and clarification, as people are trying to apply what has been shared to past experiences with that person. Just like team charters, the real value is not in the document, but in drafting and sharing it.

From a Christian business to a Kingdom Culture.

It all starts with Kingdom Purpose and being on the same page with our Father (Mt 6:33).

Our Face Book Life Discussion on 1-on-1’s

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