From individual contributor to leader.

In our experience, people rarely quit their jobs based on compensation; rather, they quit their manager. Or they quit the culture. So, it’s imperative leaders consider the conditions they are creating for a compelling work environment. Do they make it easy, engaging, and actually enjoyable to get work done, or are there too many processes making it difficult and unrewarding?

1-on-1 interactions are one of the best tools to build and reinforce the type of culture every team member deserves. Strategically planned and executed, 1-on-1s are arguably the best way to create the conditions for high engagement and ensure team members are connected to their leader.

To be an effective leader, individuals must shift from thinking ‘I hold 1-on-1s to monitor people’s progress’ to ‘I hold regular 1-on-1s to help people get—and stay—engaged.’

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Crucial Insights For Leaders

Leading a team requires a different skillset than working as an individual contributor.

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Levels of Engagement

How leaders interact with others significantly impacts engagement levels. Every interaction they have with team members affects how those members choose to volunteer their efforts and energies. Regular 1-on-1s, when done well, can help release the highest talents and contributions of each individual.

The conditions for engagement.

At FranklinCovey, we’ve found that employees typically fall on a spectrum, with a distinct difference between the bottom and top three levels. Note the dotted line in the middle. Team members above the line are doing the job because they want to, while those below are doing the job because they have to. If people are indifferently compliant or lower, you will have to tell them over and over what to do, because they won’t do it on their own.

Leaders don’t, in fact, create engagement. People choose their level of engagement. Leaders create the conditions for engagement—for better or worse.

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Leadership happens one conversation at a time.

— Moon, Davis, Simpson, Merrill, Talent Unleashed

The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team™

Leading a team requires a different mindset than working as an individual contributor. Explore the critical mindset shifts that will maximize success as a leader of others.


Increase engagement of team members by conducting regular 1-on-1s, deepen your understanding of team member issues, and help them solve problems for themselves.


Create clarity about team goals and results; delegate responsibility to team members while providing the right level of support.


Give feedback to develop team member confidence and competence; improve your own performance by seeking feedback from others.


Identify specific actions to help team members navigate and accelerate through change and achieve better performance.


Use weekly planning to focus on the most important priorities, and strengthen your ability to be an effective leader by applying the 5 Energy Drivers.

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