Home » One to Ones – Now more than ever!

One to Ones – Now more than ever!

by Richard Foulkes

In normal circumstances one to ones build relationships, credibility, and referrals between members. Right now, they are more important than ever as members’ businesses change, and we need each other’s support during this time. Potentially, some of us have more time to do more one to ones than normal.

Are One to Ones different in alert level 3?

Normally our one to ones are held to build trust, credibility and understanding of each other and to learn about each other’s businesses. Over the course of multiple one to ones with the same member (it can take up to 8) we build our trust to the point where we are prepared to refer the other member without a second thought to our nearest and dearest in our inner circle. We start with getting to like the other member and move along a continuum to unconditional trust.

From the moment we moved to lockdown two things changed. One is obvious, we could no longer meet face to face (unless it was at shouting distance) and secondly the very nature of a one to one changed. It has expanded the concept of a one to one from being just about business to checking in with each other, sharing ideas and offering support – showing that you care.

While a 2-minute hello wouldn’t count as a one to one, a decent conversation (via Phone, Skype, Zoom etc) certainly would.

What are the advantages of having one to ones under the current circumstances?

There are lots. Using one of the online platforms (or just the phone) means there is no traffic, navigation, or parking problems. Travelling time is eliminated. Potentially in lockdown we have more time than normal and there isn’t the awkward moment when someone has to pull out their wallet and offer to pay for the beer or coffee. Last, but not least, when we reach out to others in the spirit of Givers Gain®, we also increase our own sense of wellbeing, connectedness and calmness.

What online platform is the best?

There are a lot …. Zoom, Skype, Hangouts, Team, WEBEX to name but a few. Zoom has become one of the best known, in fact Zoom might become a verb for online meetings, like Google is for an internet search. However, all the platforms are similar with some small differences. It is probably best just to use one that both of you are familiar with. If you are invited to a meeting on a platform you haven’t used before, make sure you give yourself a few minutes before the meeting to get online and test out your equipment. Most of them have a mobile version too which makes it easy if your PC or laptop isn’t working for you.

Most platforms have some level of free use, it’s well known that free Zoom has a limit of 40mins, cunningly set to stop longer meetings dead in their tracks. If you need to use ZOOM for more than 40 minutes, you can use your bni onlineTM Zoom chapter platform just by clicking on the meeting link. If the settings are correct and no one else has beat you to it, you can use it to your heart’s content. The chapter can schedule regular meetings, drinks catch ups, and could even run a booking system if the account gets busy. As BNI New Zealand has purchased the full enterprise license for your chapter, you have up to 49 breakout rooms and unlimited time.

Planning your one to ones

There is great value right now in just catching up, however, when booking a one to one it makes sense to have a common understanding of the intent, e.g. “Let’s catch up online for a chat” OR “let’s get online and talk about how I can refer you to that new client of mine”.

Agendas are great and setting a time expectation is still very important. Next week we will talk more about online meeting etiquette.


• Now more than ever it is the time to be having more one to ones. It’s also easier than ever to hold them.  
• We can broaden the definition of a one to one while we are in the current situation to include a lengthy “catchup”.
• You can use the bni onlineTM Zoom account to hold your one to ones – booking a breakout room post your BNI meeting is an easy and excellent idea.  
• Don’t forget to record your one to ones through the BNI Connect App, along with all your normal chapter statistics slips like Referrals, Chapter Education Units (CEU’s) and Thank You for Closed Business (TYFCB).

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