WWMUD: My work meetings turns into therapy sessions
How to care for your employees while still holding healthy boundaries
Dear MU: As a boss, I actively demonstrate care for my employees’ families, mental health, and goals. But sometimes I feel that our weekly meetings lean further away from work and closer to a counseling session. How do you manage leader-to-employee relationships that feel authentic and caring while also preserving work as work? —Not your therapist
You’re going to have to draw a brighter line, as uncomfortable as that might feel—but I’m going to show you how you can care, empathize, and show up for your employees in a way that feels appropriate for your role.
Step 1: Update your agenda
As meetings have been sliding from work to personal territory regularly, you’ll want to shift the tone by making your weekly meetings more formalized. First, create a new agenda template for future meetings, and instruct your team members to add no more than three discussion topics to the list before each meeting. This is a play on the Ivy Lee productivity method, demanding more focus and forethought from your employee and providing more structure to the discussion. Asking for a specific number will also send the message that you’re being deliberate in respecting your time together.