I recently had a conversation with a senior client about her struggle to get her team to approach their weekly 1:1 meetings in a consistent way. She had started to use MS OneNote to share discussion lists with a couple of her team and was so pleased with the result she wanted to extend this strategy this to all her direct reports. But some of them resisted, preferring to stick with their current manual systems and notebooks to manage the agenda.
This perplexed my client, as moving to OneNote instead of a paper notepad had many benefits and should have been an obvious win/win for both parties. It was intuitive to use, could be accessed easily on any device, was searchable, and allowed you to link documents and emails for discussion with the click of a button. And most importantly, the OneNote notebook could be shared by both parties which created much higher levels of control and visibility.
However, the reality is many of us are set in our ways, and comfortable with doing things the way we have always done them. We like using the tools that we have always used. That is absolutely fine in situations where you are working independently. In these cases, it should be up to me how I manage my work, and up to you how you manage your work. But when we come together to work, like in a 1:1 meeting, it is no longer just about you and how you like to work. It must be about us, and the tools and strategies that are going to maximise our joint productivity.
When we insist on sticking with outdated tools and strategies that feel comfortable to us, we are being selfish (harsh but true). When we agree on a set of tools and strategies that are fit for purpose and will enhance the productivity of both parties, we are serving.
It is not all about you and what you want, or all about me and what I want. It is about us and what serves our combined productivity.