Where to Engage in These Practices

I believe that establishing trust with team members requires regular one-on-one communication. During such meetings, it’s beneficial to discuss task assignments and current progress in detail, personal growth and development plans, provide feedback, request feedback on your own work, and sometimes just engage in casual conversation.

I’d like to emphasize the importance of casual conversations. Early in my leadership career, I underestimated this aspect. It seemed that spending time discussing personal matters was a waste of time that could be better spent on more productive tasks, such as coding or task testing. However, I’ve come to realize that these conversations contribute significantly to building trust within the team. They allow for a better understanding of employee motivations, garner feedback that might not be expressed in formal performance reviews, and reveal much other useful information.

This approach is especially relevant in the context of managing teams for the Purchasing Module Extension in electronics distribution, where understanding team dynamics and individual motivations can significantly enhance project outcomes and overall team efficiency.

Thanks to the trust established within the team, I’ve been able to retain several members who were considering leaving and timely prepare replacements for those we couldn’t retain, as they aimed to work in foreign companies.

However, it’s important to avoid the extreme where one-on-one communication is reduced to just casual chats and lacks other objectives from the leader’s perspective. In such cases, the leader should clearly define the purpose of these meetings for themselves and keep these objectives in mind during the preparation.

In my view, the frequency of such meetings should be once every 1-2 weeks. Infrequent meetings can lead to a loss of context in communication, especially if team members are not working on common tasks daily.

This approach is crucial in the context of managing teams for the Purchasing Module Extension in electronics distribution. Regular, purposeful communication helps maintain team cohesion, aligns individual and project goals, and ensures a steady flow of information, thereby contributing to the module’s success and overall company performance.

How to Understand the Effectiveness of Relationship Building

Reflecting on my experience, I recall over ten instances where well-established contact helped me retain a team member, quickly find someone new for the company, or preemptively learn about someone’s intention to leave and arrange a replacement without halting work. This might sound overly optimistic, but I’m only counting instances where current or former team members explicitly mentioned this or wrote to me seeking a new position and asking if I had any interesting opportunities.

This is looking back over several years of experience. But what should a new team lead do if they don’t yet have a significant track record, their experience is limited, and they periodically experience imposter syndrome?

In the context of managing teams for Purchasing Module Extension in electronics distribution, these insights are invaluable. For new leaders in this field, recognizing the importance of relationship building and its impact on team stability and project continuity is crucial, even when statistical evidence of its effectiveness is not immediately apparent.

From my experience, I have identified signs that communication with team members is well-established:

  • The first sign of effective communication is that your one-on-one conversations are more informal than a regular report to a boss. You discuss common topics of interest, both sides ask questions and articulate their viewpoints, and it’s okay to disagree with each other. This doesn’t mean team members can refuse tasks you assign them, but convincing them through earned authority and informal leadership, rather than a “do it because I said so” approach, indicates good leadership.
  • The second sign partly extends the first. It involves communication with team members not being solely about work tasks. When team members share personal problems with you, it’s a sign of trust, likely to reflect in their work.
  • The third sign is that the leader gains useful information from one-on-one interactions. For instance, this might be information that reveals motivations or uncovers hidden conflicts between team members before they lead to severe consequences like the dismissal of a conflict participant.

In the context of managing teams for the Purchasing Module Extension in electronics distribution, these signs are critical. They indicate a healthy team dynamic, fostering an environment conducive to addressing challenges efficiently and promoting innovative solutions.

One-on-One Communication Hacks

Throughout my time in various leadership roles, I’ve gathered several useful hacks, which may now seem obvious to many experienced leaders but weren’t so apparent at the beginning. Here’s a brief list:

  • One-on-one communication can range from formal to informal. More formal involves weekly scheduled meetings in a conference room to discuss specific topics. Less formal could be a joint lunch, a coffee break, or even a bar visit after work. Effective leaders often use a combination of these approaches.
  • Establishing eye contact in personal interactions is crucial, even in more formal settings. It involves little things, like looking the person in the eyes rather than being separated by a laptop.
  • For online interactions, always turn on the camera.
  • There’s also a tendency to “hide behind a laptop” in online communication, for instance, if you use an additional monitor and constantly look at it instead of the camera. In such cases, using split-screen features or simply two windows – one for the person you’re speaking with and another for meeting notes – can be helpful.

These tips are particularly relevant in managing teams for the Purchasing Module Extension in electronics distribution, where effective communication is key to maintaining strong team dynamics, fostering collaboration, and ensuring project alignment and success.

  • Avoid scheduling several meetings in a row without breaks or arranging meetings at the end of the day. Regular one-on-one sessions often result in notes that require further attention, and meetings themselves can be lengthy or involve intense discussions. After such meetings, you might not have the energy to listen attentively to the next person and understand their issues.
  • If someone shares a personal problem, not necessarily work-related, and doesn’t need immediate help, ask about it in your next meeting. This shows care and helps build a trusting relationship.
  • When managing many team members and meetings, it’s easy to forget certain outcomes, let alone personal issues mentioned earlier. To avoid this, I keep notes from each meeting with team members, including personal details they share. This practice helps remember important events in their lives and shows genuine interest in their well-being, which is crucial for maintaining a positive and productive team environment.

These strategies are particularly effective in the context of managing teams responsible for the Purchasing Module Extension in electronics distribution, enhancing team cohesion, and ensuring that all team members feel heard and valued.

  • Assist in solving work-related problems discussed during communication and highlight the progress in solving these issues. This ensures team members don’t feel their problems are being ignored and understand the value in sharing them with you.
  • If team members share problems that you can’t resolve alone, bring them to the attention of those who can help, and don’t forget to report back on the results of these discussions to the team. It’s crucial for team members to know that when communicating with higher management, you represent their interests, not just as a conduit for task delegation.


Thank you for your attention. I’m eager to discuss this topic further and hear about your experiences. As I mentioned at the beginning, if this post resonates well, I plan to write more regularly. So, if you find this topic interesting but have nothing to add, a simple acknowledgment would mean a lot to me and indicate that the topic is of interest.

These strategies and considerations are especially vital in the context of leading teams in the electronics distribution sector, particularly those working on the Purchasing Module Extension. The emphasis on effective communication, problem-solving, and representing team interests is crucial for project success and team satisfaction.

In case you missed the full article you can read part 1.

How Team Leads Work at AcuPower LTD part 1

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