To kick off the year, there’s little doubt if you work for a company, you know what your goals are; your sales goals, your personal goals and your company’s goals. If you don’t know what your goals are, or haven’t set goals, I would highly recommend doing so ASAP!
Once you have your goals, the question becomes “how am I going to achieve my goals and the company’s goals this year?” This is where touch point meetings become advantageous. What is a touch point meeting? To put it simply, a touch point meeting is a brief, one-on-one visit with another co-worker; typically between a manager and a direct report.
How can touch point meetings be an effective tool to help you get ahead, not only in achieving your 2017 goals, but also advancing your personal career? I reached out to Dan Schwartz, Founder of the Ground Floor Leadership Institute, to discover how to effectively use touch point meetings to get ahead.
Dan, what is the value of touch point meetings for individuals who have a strong desire to be successful?
“Every employee has goals they want to achieve in their career and it is the manager’s role to be the facilitator of their direct report’s success. Having touch-point meetings on a regular basis (monthly or bi-weekly) with a subordinate allows them to have dedicated time with their manager to discuss an action plan to achieve both short-term and long-term goals, monitor progress towards those goals, and make any necessary adjustments along the way.”
As Dan pointed out, it requires effort on both managers and direct reports to succeed. Without frequent interaction, how can you expect to stay on target and ensure that everyone’s interests and strategies are aligned? Use touch point meetings as often as possible to stay on track and gain valuable insights on how to better succeed.
Dan, how can highly motivated individuals prepare for touch point meetings with upper management, to make them most effective?
“Subordinates should walk into a touch-point meeting prepared to discuss the following:
• Challenges they are having with projects and assignments
• Progress on assigned tasks and deliverables
• Strategies on how their manager can make them more successful
A great way to capture the above information and prepare it for the meeting is in a status report with a list of assignments, due dates, and an update for each one on challenges and progress.”
The word that comes to mind for me is initiative. Having a clear understanding of what needs accomplished and when it needs accomplished by is crucial for success. Instead of waiting for someone to tell you what to do, get ahead by using the time during touch point meetings to discuss strategies and how to overcome challenges.
Dan, what is one thing that should be resolved/decided upon at every touch point meeting?
“At the end of a touch point meeting, there should be a clear agreement upon what action items are to be completed both for the manager and the direct report between now and the next touch-point meeting. This could include:
• Tasks to be completed
• Meetings/Conversations to be conducted
• Research to be done
• Training to be attended
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list but are examples of things that may need to be done. Bottom Line: At the end of every touch-point meeting, a clear plan should be in place for how to move forward.”
One of the biggest reasons people fail to reach their goals or get ahead in their career is they don’t have definite plans of action to follow. Make sure at your next touch point meeting that not only do you have a plan, but upper management is aligned with your plan and willing to assist in your success.