EOS Fractional Integrator Services | Brenda Violette
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Quarterly Conversations

How to Transform Your Team Through Effective EOS Quarterly Conversations

How would you rate your last EOS® Quarterly Conversation? Would it surpass an 8 or fall below it if you had to? Or did you skip it entirely last quarter? Since Quarterly Conversations are scheduled every 90 days, optimizing their effectiveness is crucial. Here are some insights and best practices I’ve implemented with my clients, resulting in transformative outcomes.

Understanding EOS® Quarterly Conversations: The Foundation

Before delving into the intricacies of EOS® Quarterly Conversations, it's essential to establish a firm understanding of what these meetings entail. Quarterly Conversations are scheduled discussions that take place every 90 days between leaders and their direct reports within organizations utilizing the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®). 

Unlike traditional performance reviews, these conversations focus on two aspects - what's working and what's not. This bilateral dialogue serves as an opportunity for open and honest communication, fostering stronger relationships and driving continuous improvement within the organization. Now that we've set the context, let's explore how to make the most out of these crucial conversations.

EOS® Quarterly Conversations: The Core Purpose

At the heart of the Quarterly Conversation is the opportunity to forge a deeper connection with your team members. It's a relaxed, open dialogue where employees should feel confident to voice their thoughts, feedback, and concerns. However, it's crucial to avoid treating this like a standard performance review.

Many leadership teams I've worked with have held unsuccessful meetings in the past because they've inverted the process. They did this by conducting it like a performance review—assessing the entire quarter from their perspective, identifying numerous issues, and dictating the improvements required for the upcoming quarter. But that's not the essence of Quarterly Conversations.

Instead, Quarterly Conversations should be seen as a reflective discussion, acknowledging successes and addressing areas for improvement, with the intent of continuous growth and development.

Optimizing EOS® Quarterly Conversations: Structure and Execution

As an EOS® Integrator™, I advocate a three-pronged approach to enhance the productivity of Quarterly Conversations:

  1. Identifying what’s working and what’s not: Embrace an open dialogue about the positive aspects of the past quarter and areas that need attention.

  2. Assigning solutions: Collaboratively assign responsibilities for resolving the identified issues.

  3. Planning for the future: Schedule the next Quarterly Conversation, reinforcing the cyclical nature of these discussions.

Let's delve deeper into each of these components to understand how you can maximize the effectiveness of your Quarterly Conversations.

Effective EOS® Quarterly Conversations: It’s in the Details

When it comes to making your Quarterly Conversations effective, paying attention to the details is key. Let's take a closer look at each of the three components involved and I'll explain what I mean.

1

What’s Working and What’s Not Working

Focusing on what is and isn't working in the business comprises the bulk of the Quarterly Conversation. Leaders who fall into immediate problem-solving mode often grapple with this segment.

Instead of dominating the conversation, engage in active listening with your employees. Resist the temptation to solve every issue that emerges instantly. This approach will allow you to comprehend their perspective better and cultivate deeper relationships.

2

Solution Assignment

After discussing what's working and what isn’t, you'll have a list of issues needing resolution. Allocate some time towards the end of the conversation to assign who tackles which problems. These assignments typically fall into one of three categories:

  1. Issues you need to solve.
  2. Issues your employee needs to solve.
  3. Issues that can't be solved.

Remember, you have 90 days to address these problems. Avoid hasty fixes aimed solely at placating your employee. Instead, it’s important to allocate sufficient time to thoroughly investigate the underlying causes of the problems and put in dedicated efforts to resolve the assigned tasks.

3

 Schedule the Next Quarterly Conversation

The final step in a Quarterly Conversation is scheduling the next one. When employees understand that this is an ongoing exercise, they begin to value their time with you, come better prepared, and look forward to these meetings.

Reaping the Rewards: The Benefits of Effective EOS® Quarterly Conversations

Effective Quarterly Conversations can be transformative for companies. As you dedicate one-on-one time to your employees, you nurture deeper connections. Moreover, consistently addressing emerging issues within these conversations cultivates a profound level of trust within your organization.

A Quick Note for Visionaries…

Visionaries, you're exempt from this task. Quarterly Conversations are primarily conducted by Integrators™ with the leadership team, and all other managers hold them with their direct reports.

Moving Forward: 2 Tips for EOS® Quarterly Conversations

After understanding the core concepts and benefits of EOS® Quarterly Conversations, it's crucial to translate these insights into action. This leads us to our next segment: practical tips for EOS® Quarterly Conversations.

Tip 1: Preparing for an EOS® Quarterly Conversation

Effective preparation is the key to ensuring productive and meaningful Quarterly Conversations. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Reflect on the Previous Quarter: Take time to review the objectives, tasks, and goals set during the last conversation. Evaluate achievements and areas requiring more attention.
  • Gather Relevant Data: Collect data related to the employee's performance and any challenges they may have encountered. This information provides a basis for discussion and problem-solving.
  • Draft an Agenda: While the conversation should be fluid, a rough agenda can maintain focus and ensure all vital points are addressed.
  • Foster a Safe Space: Prepare to listen, understand, and empathize. Employees should feel at ease discussing their challenges and sharing ideas.

Tip 2: Follow-Up and Accountability Post-Conversation

A Quarterly Conversation's efficacy extends beyond the meeting itself. The follow-up actions are equally, if not more, important. Let’s look at some of the follow-up actions you should be doing post-conversation. 

  • Document and Share Key Takeaways: Record the conversation's major points, decisions, and tasks. Sharing these with the employee ensures everyone is aligned.
  • Set Clear Expectations: Clarify what needs to be accomplished, who is responsible, and the deadline. Clear expectations pave the way for accountability.
  • Regular Check-Ins: Schedule check-ins to monitor progress. This provides opportunities for real-time feedback and course correction.
  • Recognize Progress: Acknowledging the employee's progress boosts motivation and engagement. Celebrate the small wins as part of the journey towards larger goals.

Remember, Quarterly Conversations are not standalone events. Instead, they form an integral part of an ongoing growth process, strengthening relationships and propelling your organization forward.

Wrapping Up

As you approach your next quarter, consider how you can enhance your Quarterly Conversations. The book: "How to Be a Great Boss" is an excellent resource with numerous best practices to boost your leadership skills.

Are you ready to transform your team's performance with a Fractional Integrator™? Schedule a discovery call with me today to see if we’d make a great team!

Did these strategies work for your team? Share your experiences in the comments below!

About the Author Brenda Violette

Brenda Violette, Founder and CEO of Violette Business Services, LLC, is a highly experienced and sought-after Fractional Integrator and Mentor based in Connecticut. With a remarkable track record of over 30 years in leadership, Brenda excels in administration, operations, and people management. As a relentless learner, Brenda actively engages in multiple EOS-based Visionary/Integrator communities and holds esteemed memberships in the FIM (Female Integrator Mastermind) and Advanced Integrator Mastery Forum in Rocket Fuel. She’s also a distinguished Rocket Fuel Mastery Program graduate and a certified Kolbe Consultant™. With a keen focus on driving growth and making a positive impact beyond profit, Brenda guides Visionaries to achieve their strategic goals. Brenda brings transformative value to her clients and partners exclusively with companies operating on the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), who are already working with an EOS Implementer or have graduated from the program. Discover how Brenda can propel your business towards significant growth and sustainability while freeing you to fulfill your role as the Visionary. Visit www.BrendaViolette.com to learn more.

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